Today, on the final day of my 30-Day Emotional Dance Challenge, I decided to bring it back to my roots and dance to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
When I was four and five years old, whenever my Dad was home, I would ask him to play this song for me on the piano so I could dance. He’d play and play, and I would twirl around and dramatically leap through door frames in my little leotard and tutus. I half felt guilty thinking I was wasting my Dad’s time, and half felt so in touch with all the emotions I had even as a little girl. The feelings of intense love and fear. I think that’s mostly what I felt as a child, overwhelming love inside me and overwhelming fear that I couldn’t let it out.
So here I am, dancing around my living room to Swan Lake at the age of 32 just like I did when I was 5. Twirling around my house, amidst sounds and music, moving my body and expressing these emotions that exist without words….it’s profound for me. I have learned so much about myself these last 30 days.
I’ve learned that when I lean into my feelings, when I give them a platform to be expressed beyond words, I feel free. I’ve learned that dancing and moving after an intense interaction helps me process it right out. I’ve learned that I am literally moved by so many types of music. I’ve learned that I can l flail around and look like and idiot and still feel absolutely amazing afterwards. I love all these things.
While I might not do this exercise every day moving forward, I will put dancing in my emotional tool box: how I can care for myself, how I can let it out, and how I can get in touch with my true, deep self.
Below is a list of the songs I’ve danced to over the last 30 days:
1: Audra Mae “The Fable”
2: Sia “Chandelier”
3: Major Lazer “Lean On”
4: Florence and the Machine “Howl”
5: Kendrick Lamar “i”
6: Souad Massi “Ya Kalbi”
7: Lura “Dze Que Dze”
8: Kate Bush “Jig of Life”
9: Mark Ronson “Uptown Funk”
10: Big Sean “I Don’t F*ck With You”
11: AlunaGeorge and DJ Snake “You Know You Like It”
12: April Smith “Colors”
13: Niyaz “Ghazal”
14: Whitney Houston “I’m Every Woman”
15: Fiona Apple “Sleep to Dream”
16: Natalia Clavier “El Arbol”
17: Lisa Fischer “Last Goodbye”
18: Sara Tavares “Balance”
19: James Brown “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”
20: Eva Cassidy “Say Goodbye”
21: Sergio Mendes “Magalenha”
22: Teena Marie “Square Biz” & “I Need Your Lovin'”
23: audiafauna “Grow Down” and “Going There Strong” (this was my favorite)
24: Disclosure “Willing and Able”
25: Jade “Don’t Walk Away”
26: Neko Case “I Wish I Was The Moon”
27: Nina Simone & Bassnectar “Feelin Good”
28: Jamiroquai “Canned Heat”
29: Damian Marley “Confrontation”
30: Tchaikovsky “Swan Lake Theme”
Here is (maybe) the spotify playlist of these songs. If I can figure out how to do tech things: