Dance like nobody’s watching

There is something intensely beautiful about being vulnerable – when you’ve nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

It’s scary but I’ve noticed that it also puts me in different state of mind. One where time stands still, everything blurs around me and I can actually feel the blood coursing through my veins.

I guess, in a strange way, it makes me feel more alive.

At MDA, we’ve been doing improvisation exercises in preparation for our performance this October. Nothing can make you feel more vulnerable than improvising dance alone in front of other people. Trust me. NOTHING!

We’ve had to improvise a lot over the past few weeks and the first few times, I won’t lie, it was difficult and oh so awkward. We film our rehearsals so I would watch the videos afterwards and cringe at my self-conscious movements. I’d compare myself to other dancers – their moves always seemed so “natural”, “honest” and beautiful to watch.

During a break last rehearsal, I was sitting at the side watching another company member improvise. Like me, she is a non-professional dancer so I could tell she felt awkward and uncomfortable. She closed her eyes as if trying to block out everything and everyone around her and for a moment I could see she managed to “forget” where she was.

I don’t know if she noticed me but I started to piece together the story she was trying to tell.

Watching her taught me a valuable lesson about improvisation and indeed dance in general. Her dancing touched me, not because her moves were impressive but because she was willing to let go and share her story. She allowed people to share in her vulnerability and that is a feeling everyone can relate to.

We’ve heard it all before, “you only live once, don’t mind what others think of you”, “be yourself”, “dance like nobody’s watching”. These are profound truths that very few of us have the courage to follow.

A dancer improvises a dance in a dance studio.

It’s Friday everyone. Let’s be bold this weekend and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, as scary as it may seem.

Let’s open our hearts, put on our favourite tune and dance, like nobody’s watching.


p.s.: sorry for the long break. I’ve missed you all terribly 🙂

5 thoughts on “Dance like nobody’s watching

  1. I have a teacher who lets us improvise, too. It is hard, but slowly I am getting better, and I am not even sure if it is about getting better. Allowing ourselves to show our vulnerability is perhaps a challenge that will make us better dancers. Thanks for sharing this. I will remember.

  2. Lovely! I honestly wish we would do more with improvisation in our classes. It’s scary at first but I think it really helps you develop into your dance skin. We are too self aware most of the time, I think being vulnerable in front of your group and teacher makes the bond of the group even better.

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