By the time I had reached my driveway, tears were spilling down my rosy cheeks. They burned my eyes as I fumbled with my house keys and I dropped my bag as I rushed into the entrance foyer. The day had escalated from mildly bad, like most days in high school, to absolutely horrid and I knew only one way to make it better. I shoved aside the cocoa leather sofa and, as new tears tapped the hardwood, I began a dance of pain, anger and hope. I believe in the power of dance because it provides me an outlet for expression that acts as therapy, enhances social skills, and helps create a healthy lifestyle.
I have no “mad” face. When I become angry, my face looks normal, except that my eyes are wild and flash enough to give an epileptic man a seizure. It is during these times that I dance. Dance acts as a therapy for my moods and allows me to express my emotions. Dance helps me calm down, breathe, think things through, and release the anger that boils like red, hot, molten lava. While angry over a breakup, I poured all my energy and passion into a dance. In this dance, a bride was left at the altar and was seeking revenge. Like her, I was livid. As I left the stage, however, I felt empowered and at peace. It was better than a squeaky sofa and a psychiatrist. Dance, for me, is powerful enough to revoke my emotions of anger, fear, or stress and replace them with joy.
Besides expression, dance is also about cooperation and unity between other dancers. These graceful movements, when executed together with precision and ease, produce an, “Ah!” from an astounded audience. However, backstage a bond also is formed between dancers. I was a shy, mouse-like child and, socially, dance provided me with a common interest to engage conversation about. Dance developed my friendships, but more importantly it connected me with other people because of our common goal. I also learned how to cooperate with people from different walks of life, accept constructive criticism, and learn to constantly improve in everything I do. I am a more open person, one who can support, love, and learn from others, because of the power of dance.
All of my life, my mother shoved cauliflower, spinach, and other leafy greens in my face because I would not eat right. Since becoming a serious dancer, I learned to eat healthy foods, get enough rest, and take care of my body. I know that I could not perform my best if I did not stay active and alert. I have started to create good habits of nutrition and sleep that will carry over into my adult life. Whether I continue dancing or not, the positive lessons dance taught me about taking care of myself will stay with me all of my life.
Dance provides self expression, created social skills, and created healthy habits of eating right, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep, and therefore I believe that dance is powerful. Reality shoved me back into an alert state and I was suddenly aware of the twisting body that had connected my limbs, brain, and soul. A weird sensation warmed my chest and I realized that this joy, this powerful ecstasy, was because of dance. A large smile spread across my tear-stained face.
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