One of the most cited reason to dance was wellbeing and mental health. Dance is “freedom”, “a release”, “it keeps me sane” or provides a “different place where all my worries are left behind”, it “makes me feel happier” – or as one participant expressed it: “it restores my <3”
Dance makes us experience joy - “I dance because it makes me feel like nothing else I’ve ever experienced” said one participant, while another describes the feeling with the in itself very joyful expression “It makes me feel ta daaaa!”
Connection is another important reason to dance, “for the moment of joy when I’m connected with someone else through movements”; and a sense of belonging “It always has and always will be a constant in my life of changing variables”.
Many cited the opportunity for self-expression: “It’s my voice in movement to express and feel emotions. One participant just “liked movement better than talking” to express themselves.
Lauren Behari cited her recent interview in the Dance Gazette, where she explained how she uses dance to break down barriers and make a real difference to people’s lives. Dance can give a stage to marginalised voices and can become a form of activism.
A lot of people simply love it! “Dance is my passion, my faith and it has become a way of life” said one, while another danced “because it makes me feel vulnerable and true to who I am”, helping to “focus and strive”.
When we thought about what dance means to us, we came up with our tagline “Dancing for Life” that seemed to sum up all the various reasons for why we dance. And that sentiment was reflected back to us all across the board, as out of all submissions the one thing that was mentioned again and again is that dance made you “feel alive”, was “as necessary as breathing. It is just a part of full human experience for me” or, very simply, “because I know no other way to live.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in our poll. Why Dance, our first ever platform celebrating adult recreational and community dance, is on this Saturday, 22 Feb.