Partner dance is like a mutual creation. Neither partner really knows where they are going until the moment happens. Once the partners get practiced enough that they can be in the moment and not thinking 3 steps ahead, this is when the flow really begins. The impulse comes from the music, from the partners, from Source. We really are dancing with our Souls.
Dance was my introduction to the balance between the two energies within our Sacral Chakras. Dance takes the wild, creative, glowing feminine energy and channels it into steps or choreography or a pattern that is dance. The same happens with music. The wild free flow of energy that is music is channelled into a composition. This is the masculine helping to support and channel the feminine energies.
This hit me last night. I was thinking about my own experiences in Salsa/Latin dance. I started doing partner dance at 35, a few weeks after my marriage started dissolving. I promised myself at that time that I could start paying attention to me and doing those things that I had always wanted to do. Well, since watching Dirty Dancing at 11 years old with dreamy Patrick Swayze, I was hooked on partner dance. My friend and I who watched the movie together, worked tirelessly on the lift and the steps in the final dance and loved every minute. So at 35, it made perfect sense to me to start lessons. Since that first lesson, I have always said that dance is a metaphor for life. So many lessons are offered through dance.
My first lesson was how to flow. I had to learn to let go of control. My job was to be the Follow. In partner dance, there is a Leader and a Follow. I had to stop leading and become the follow. This is not a girl/boy thing. It is a masculine/feminine energy thing. For a dance to work, one energy must be the container within which the other energy has the freedom to dance and flow. There have been many females who lead and males who follow. We all have both energies within us, so how is it that we balance them? To me, this happens in all creative ventures. For myself, I have Big creative energy. I feel the urge to create like a big bursting fire at my heart. The difficulty that I have, though, is getting this big fire out into the world in a succinct manner. When I write, I feel like I’m gonna barf my words all over the page without it making any sense at all to a reader. This is all fine when I write for me, but when I write for the world, it takes more masculine energy to focus and fit it into a container. In many ways, my feminine energy can’t stand being put into a box. I actually wrote a story about being put into boxes after I left working for the government, which as you can imagine was one big ‘ol box. So at the same time that I resist any type of box or belief system forced upon me, I do appreciate the masculine energy of a container, of a process, of form. Dance gives my big energy ‘Form’.
My second lesson was to trust and be connected. If you are dancing and not connected to yourself or to your partner or to the moment, you are lost before you begin. My teacher used to say, the Lead should be able to lead you in an entire dance by just one finger. I adored this. The connection and presence needed to be so strong that I could feel where we were going before it was even really decided. This to me, was energetic work on a level that I had never reached before. I had to be fully and fiercely present. I had to be in my body which was something I didn’t spend much time doing. I could easily slip out of my body into my mind or dreamy state and be a million miles away. With dance, the presence requirement was so intense that my mind was always on the task at hand and because of this, I love dance. I love the forced discipline. And I love that there is a container within which I can easily be present. I love the how the feminine and masculine energies work together to create a beautiful dance that is happening in the moment. This ability to become present when dancing has become so pronounced in me that I turn to dance as meditation. I have found that as soon as I turn on the Latin music, I sink into my body and feel instantly hugged and at home.