Back in June, with absolutely perfect timing, my delightfully creative friend Leigh Medeiros put out a call for people to join her in 100 days of dancing.
I had been looking for a small challenge of some sort to get me moving again every day and wanting to keep Leigh company in her challenge was the perfect impetus.
The rules were simple: dance every day, make a short video to post in the new Facebook group she had established, cheer other people on.
With rules that straightforward, 100 Days of Dancing definitely sounded like something I could do.
And, in fact, I HAVE done that for most of the over 50 days of the challenge so far. (I missed posting on a few days because of illness but I did some sort of dance every single day.)
Sometimes, I have been getting into the sort of kitchen dancing groove that inspired Catherine to think about all the dancing she is doing/wants to do but I also have been bopping around all over my house and yard* depending on my mood and on who else is home.
I love to dance. I’m not great at choreography (I miss my cues – damn ADHD) but I love flailing about to some music. I’m always listening for the ‘jumpy part’ and I tend to caterwaul along to the music.
And the good thing about dancing by myself is that I don’t have to match anyone else’s movements so I’m not self-conscious – even though I am going to end up sharing the video.
I’m having a great time with this and I am so grateful to Leigh for starting the challenge.
Not only has it got me moving every day – and for me, getting started is always a challenge, once I’m moving I happily keep going, but there have been a lot of other benefits.
- I’ve met a great group of fun people all with their own delightful dance styles and we’ve been encouraging each other.
- I’ve heard all kinds of new music.
- I’ve realized (or perhaps re-realized) that one of my obstacles to dance is that I have a limited dance ‘vocabulary’ – I don’t have a wide range of moves so I end up repeating myself. Repeating myself gets boring, and boring means I’ll stop. Sooooo, I have been inspired to seek out some new movements to learn.
- Figuring out which song to dance to has added extra fun to my day (the dancing does that, too.)
- I’m paying more attention to every song I hear – on TV, on the radio, or wherever – so I can decide if I want to dance to it. That also adds fun and a kind of presence to my day.
I was chatting with my friend Elaine (the Nia instructor) recently and I realized that I am starting to think of myself as a dancer rather than just someone who dances. I don’t mean that I will add it to my business card and I definitely won’t be hitting the stage but I am finding that dancing feels even more natural now that I am doing it every day.
When I listen to music, I’m thinking about how I could dance to it – what moves to include where, what parts of the song would lead to repeating or varying a movement. And I am seeking songs that let me express the feelings of that day through my movements. That’s pretty dancer-y, hey?
While I have always loved it, dancing has become a much bigger part of my life since June and I just love Leigh** for bringing this challenge into my life right now.
I wouldn’t have thought to do this on my own and I am having a grand time.
If you need a boost today, why not do your own flailing?
Here’s a song to get you started – Bif Naked’s ‘I Love Myself Today’
*Between this, hula hooping, and practicing TKD in my yard my neighbours have long since given up on me. 😉
**You can’t join in Leigh’s FB group at this point (she has deliberately kept the group to her friends only) but you can check out some of her dance videos on Instagram and get inspired by her joyful movement.