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The secret of inner dance

19 October 2013 / 00:10:16  GRReporter
8223 reads

Ivan Petkov

Dance is a celebration of life. Quite literally, the archetype of dancing is courtship in animals and humans, the end result of which is the creation of a new life. Figuratively, dancing expresses a wide range of feelings and emotions. The way a person is dancing is indicative of many of his or her personal qualities and condition at that particular moment. Let us take for example a master of dance who has a perfect technique but, for some reason, he or she is dancing without desire, passion, dedication, without enjoying each movement. A spectator will immediately feel the difference and the dance, while great, will be deprived of life and mood which it could transfer to others. Dancing is like a barometer that measures our level of vitality and expresses our inner-self.

Emergence of dance. Dance is one of the things that have not been discovered like any invention that is unique in nature. Instead, it has appeared as an upgraded form of our natural instincts, starting from the desire to find a partner in life and reproduce, and to experience natural human emotions, which our ancestors expressed through dancing. The development of the instinctive roots of dance went along with body painting, with the emergence of rhythm and music which, at the dawn of human history, were a powerful tool for making people fall into a state of trance and for changing the level of awareness in humans. Trance led to the loss of personal characteristics and to the occurrence of a common group identity. In native cultures dancing is considered as a sacred form of expression as it enables people to feel the experience in a direct way, through the vibrations which it creates. Not only does this type of dancing involve the people as individuals, separated from one another, but also allows them to experience the unity and connection with each other, with the community and with the universe. It triggers the creative process and establishes the unity between the community and the universe. It leads to a state of dynamic balance that makes you feel connected with yourself and with the universe. Dancing as a form of communication with the higher forces has remained in the world to this day, fire-dancing, dervish dancing and many more being the examples of this.

Vestiges of these practices can be found in the modern army in which the soldiers march in a monotonous and repetitive rhythm, singing marching songs. Ritual dances to unite the soldiers and build their courage were performed in armies throughout the world in all ages. The army is no place for "nonsense" but for things that work flawlessly.

Dancing was an important part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and entertainment, even before the birth of the first human civilizations. One of the earliest uses of dancing was connected with the performances of myths and their stories. Before the existence of written languages, dancing was one of the means of handing down these stories from one generation to another and, today, many of the traditional national dances have preserved the mythological stories on which they are built. Another early usage of dancing was to precede trance in healing rituals and many cultures, from the Brazilian rainforest to the Kalahari Desert, are still using it for this purpose even today.

The modern and popular dances, which come from Africa, still present, albeit in a tangible form, the respect for the Earth, the idea of ​​exchanging energy between man and the Earth, between the two partners. In ballroom dances like the English and Viennese waltz, quickstep, foxtrot and tango, the contact between the two partners is at the level of the navel. This area transfers the movement from the male partner to the female partner and thus the pair moves in unison. There is also a movement called "sinking", for example in the English waltz, in which the pairs move up and down in unison. Regarding club or disco dancing, the group of people, who have gathered by chance, usually forms a circle and often someone comes in and dances inside the circle.

Inner dance. You can learn about the external form of dancing at school or at a dance school, where you will get to know specific movements and various complex figures. Let me tell you more about inner dancing and that it is a form of communication with the Earth; how you can use it to keep yourself in good shape and good health, and to eliminate tension, fatigue and stress. The basis of my explanation will be the Taoist practices, as I know them fairly well but, as I noted above, this view is present in many places and in many cultures.

Let me tell you a little more about the vibrations I mentioned previously. Everything in our known universe vibrates at a certain frequency. The Earth also has a frequency at which it vibrates. The sounds we hear and use in our speech when communicating with each other and those used by animals in their communication are a type of oscillation, vibration. The music to which we dance is a vibration; the rhythm that is typical of each dance is a vibration too. Ancient Taos have discovered that the Earth has a universal vibration that supports and maintains the life humming on it. Not surprisingly, all ancient cultures associate the image of the Earth with that of the mother.

Their next important observation is that when one is in a good mood, healthy and vital, then the vibrations of this person coincide with those of the Earth. When a living being gets sick and dies, the Earth purifies its sick energy and returns it to the world in order for it to become part of the huge circle of life. They have found out that the Earth may heal us, but this happens at the early stages of the outbreak of a disease, when the negative emotions remain inside the body. We know that anxiety causes ulcers and strong emotions can cause a heart attack or stroke. Often doctors recommend relaxation during treatment or recovery. Many diseases begin long before the appearance of serious damage to our organs at the physical level. The Earth has the ability to purify the emotions and transform them into positive energy, which we will use in dancing to protect us from diseases and bad moods, and as a method of getting rid of oppressive thoughts and negative emotions.

Inner dancing is a way to connect with the Earth, to achieve all the positive effects mentioned previously and to get rid of unwanted ones.

Why am I not having fun? We can dance externally without dancing internally. At the beginning of the article, I gave the example of a dancing master who, for some reason, is putting no heart into the dance. The reasons for this may be multiple: a concern you are thinking about, while the body is performing movements it has learnt; accumulated fatigue, tension, stress and the strong emotions that go along with them can be prevailing, not allowing you to enjoy dancing and life in general. On the other hand, no perfect technique and complex figures are necessary in order for you to have fun and dance internally.

There are some metaphorical expressions which we could use for a person who is dancing internally, even if he or she is not aware of it, for example, "his/her soul is dancing", "his/her heart is in a flutter". However, why are there times when we can enjoy dancing and moments when this seems very difficult? Why are there people who often have fun sincerely and those who find it difficult to relax?

In our civilized western mentality, we often connect our personal experiences with thinking. "I think, therefore I exist." Yes, we exist but, most of the time, only from the neck up. By directing your attention to your thoughts only, you leave no room for anything else, including for dancing. What do meditative practices do? They soothe the mind and balance the thoughts. What do good dancers naturally and instinctively do? They dance and do not think, which is a kind of meditation.
A person, who is constantly looking around and thinking about how he or she looks in the eyes of others, is not dancing but thinking while his or her body is making ​​some mechanical movements. As a result, if the dance is in pairs, this person is not paying enough attention to his or her dancing partner. There is no communication because dancing is the language of the body rather than of the mind. Excessive thinking is the reason for a person to withdraw into him/herself, which is its second shortcoming. Such a person stops paying attention to everything around, starts to look for attention and wants everything to be directed towards him or her. Unconsciously this person retires into him/herself and separates him/herself from everything, thus interrupting the connection with the Earth and the communication with it. The last unwanted effect is that all this pulls up the centre of the body, taking it higher than its usual position, because your attention is directed towards the thoughts in your head.

Practice of inner dance. In all Latin dances that I have practised, the knees are not stretched and are always slightly bent. Our centre is low, close to the Earth. Let me explain the meaning of this "centre". I mentioned at the beginning of the article that the archetype of dancing can be found in courtship which is typical of every living being. We, humans, are no exception to this. Dancing is also subject to these primary instincts. The modern version of dancing lessons speaks of "centre of gravity" but actually, it speaks of something more significant. Our main vital centre is in the lower part of the abdomen, which is also the place of our sexual energy, the energy that keeps us alive and which we use to create a new life.

                                                         The place of our vital centre

If you are dancing full of thoughts, you are looking apathetic and spiritless. Anxious thoughts make us perform movements similar to them, namely fragmented, sharp and disconnected. The people around us feel this sluggishness at the instinctive level and this level means low sexual energy. Everyone instinctively stays away from such partners. Conversely, if we are dancing with our vital centre in a low position, we are connected to the Earth, it enhances our sexual/vital energy and the others feel this instinctively too. Bringing the gravity down to the area below the navel increases our ability to move and helps the body to perform smooth and natural movements. As a result, one will not worry so much as to how the others will accept him or her and naturally will pay attention to his or her partner and to the joy of dancing.

At the physiological level, dancing and body shaking are very favourable for the lymphatic system, to the bones and joints, and to the cardiac system. Dancing is a way to restore the balance and reclaim joy and good spirits. Because dancing has a certain rhythm in which your feet are moving and “patting” on the ground, it can be used to transfer the tension, stress and fatigue to the Earth and it will bring back fresh energy which will charge and refresh you. When you are dancing, you are happy. You are touching the Earth with your feet and, in response, it is sending up energy into your body. When your bones are dancing, energy is filling the joints and the spaces between them. The more the bones dance inside and in harmony with the universe, the more dancing becomes a healing process. Energy from all directions starts flowing inside and outside, in harmony, each time creating inner strength and pressure which are needed to inject vital force and tenderness into the next movement. In practice, the vibration of the body coincides with the vibration of the Earth and that is the vibration of a healthy body.

Dancing through our centre, through the belly, is a kind of ritual dancing closely associated with fertility rites and with summoning the female forces of the universe. Squeezing the belly and swinging the hips opens the loins and energy starts flowing from the Earth up into us, thus stimulating the genitals and the pelvic floor, and filling the stomach with vital force. Then it begins to tremble and vibrate and the energy moves to the sacrum, up the spine, through the whole body, filling the tanks, the energy pathways, the organs and glands and reaching the head. Therefore, dancing is refreshing as it clears away the unpleasant thoughts and hard emotions. After such dancing, one may feel physically tired but mentally relieved. The momentary physical fatigue will go away after sound sleep which will be really sound because no thoughts and emotions will disturb it.

This is the secret of the inner dance. It may sound complicated or even incomprehensible, but it is quite simple and natural. It is enough to dance with joy and soul and you will feel it.

Cultures that are wild and uncivilized are more vital. The Taoists' explanation is that they have maintained their relationship with the Earth. Could this relationship be used in the gym or in the dancing club rather than in the woods, or on the floor instead of on the earth? Try and you will find out. No one else can dance, have fun and try new things for you!

Even if you are sceptical and do not trust the viewpoint presented above, relating to "some kind of energies and the like", then, at least, you should try to have fun when you dance and keep the centre of gravity low. Things work and happen naturally, whether we believe in them or not.

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