So, I went to my first dance therapy group session at the Expressive Arts Institute in San Diego, last night. It was wonderful! I danced freely to the therapist’s suggestions which I was free to choose or not. We started the session all sitting on the floor in a circle and the therapist had placed a centerpiece in the middle of us. We did a check-in, which in the mental health field, simply means speaking about what is currently going in his/her life. Participants are free to speak in this “judgement-free” zone. The whole session is a judgement-free experience and we are not critiquing each nor does the therapist critique us. There were several pieces of music played, all instrumental, and as the music began the therapist would suggest things like move within the idea of “give and take”, whatever that means to each individual. This involved interacting with each other as we danced or moved about the room, not verbally, but “movementally” (It’s a word. I just made it up ). I also used a scarf and played with it as I danced and that was a new experience for me and gave me lots of ideas for routines. At the end of the session, we all came back together as a circle with the centerpiece in the middle again. We then were given paper and coloring pens and were instructed to draw anything that came to mind. Since, I don’t have a skill in drawing, I simply moved my pen in circles to the the rhythm of the music playing, changing colors periodically. We were then invited to share any experiences or epiphanies that may have come to us during the session. I came away with just a feeling of joy of being able to move freely in a dance studio where, I have discovered, is a place of safety for me. Since I grew up taking dance lessons and performing it was only natural that I felt safe. But I have to share that throughout my life, as I have taken various dance classes, every time I walk into a dance studio, my heart sings and my body wants to chaîné-turn all over the floor. That’s just a succession of turns across the floor with legs straight.
So, after coming to this realization that my body is telling me something important when I’m on a dance floor, I have pressed into this dance therapy journey with all exuberance. I am leaning into what God is calling me towards. It’s actually very freeing and peaceful to completely put my trust in God and moved toward the things that make sense to me. Praise the Lord that he is moving toward dancing again!