Do you care to dance?
Some people will say straight away and without hesitation, “Yes, of course,” this is an article for the rest of us, so when someone asks you the question, please do not decline so fast, such invitations should always be at least considered. First, we should formally introduce the concept and let the music play, dancing requires the moving of the legs in a rhythmic fashion, at least one foot should not be in contact with the floor and the more advanced dancer would prefer that both are in the air at the same time; the hands should match or complement the movements of the legs following the tempo of the song rather than the rhythm, they should gravitate towards the vertical, in an action known as “putting your arms up in the air”, your torso should be gyrating naturally but if it needs encouragement remember to shake it like you do not care.
Partners are optional but desirable, it is after all the most basic social interaction that can occur between people. Whole crowds of strangers can come together to celebrate the dance and when the music stops they instantly transform back again into passersby and walk away, which should be seen as miraculous but is so normal it is commonplace and so human, any other primate would just fight. However if you only have yourself at home, it is a perfect excuse to practice your more outrageous moves and to dance without self-consciousness, it can be whatever music that makes you move. You can be a fifty old man dancing to Taylor swift or Peaches, a left wing student jumping up and down to right wing punk, there are no judgment in the dance halls of your own home. Headphones or a stereo pumping base that scares the cat, yoga pants or a tight suit, in the morning or late at night. You can salsa whilst sauteing in the kitchen, you can pirouette as you baste a roast. You should reserve the right to dance in any circumstances.
The body loves to moves in unusual ways, it delights in it's own ability to surprise itself. It is the easiest of the spiritual practices as it does not require the concentration or self-awareness of mediation, you just move without thinking to the music that sets your passion alight and it gives you a guarantee hit of joy and dopamine. In that way it is better than any known drug that tries the same and with none of the side effects, if you did nothing else in the day, it will give you more health benefits than a kale and blueberry smoothie, it is real super food and will not leave a bitter after taste. To name a few, improved heart and lungs, muscle and bone strength, greater agility, balance and flexibility, and most of all improved mental health and stress reduction.
You can do it in secret if you feel self-conscious at all, post shower boogies gives you a chance to get air dried and shake out any water that is hiding round about. Join the secret society of late night dub steppers, who tango with their wives when the children are fast asleep. Get that free little of dose of mindlessness when you move with the beat, when the body moves, ears are listening and the heart feels itself in time with the rhythm, you enter a mini adventure in flow, where you are just being and doing not thinking, you lose the concept of time, objects in space and even self. You are part of something bigger than yourself, a respond to music that moves the body, that started around the fires of hunter gatherers a hundred thousand years ago, when the bass was hitting sticks against rocks and the ground and since then humanity has never stopped dancing. It was the first art form, one of the first subjects of painting, food and dance were considered that important, and it was available to every person to express themselves, babies dance even before their first attempt to paint their mothers.
How dancing became a source of fear for some I am not quite sure, maybe it is the last of the Victorian fear of sex playing out the final part of it's issues with self-disgust. It could be the fear of judgment and ridicule but that is cutting off your nose to spite your face, you missing out on such a joy and fundamental part of the human experience, so practice on your own and you will get better, anything worth something takes effort and deliberate practice. When you feel safe in a tribe, it is something that binds you together in a wordless trusting way, it is showing where telling is just not a substitute, it shows that you are prepare to be foolish and unselfconscious, you are willing to show yourself and you trust the person with you not to judge or mock. If you can not trust the people around you in this way, you have to ask is it me or them, which is a problem either way. So find your tribe, whoever you feel comfortable with, be merry, join the party and dance, whether you are invited to or not.