dancing for joy growing up
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Studies show there are many benefits to freeform dance—here’s how Emma Marshall, ‘The Wim Half of Dance’ explains it can help you.
Picture the scene: You’re at a festival, surrounded by like-minded individuals, dancing to one of your favorite artists as they perform live. The term “dance for pleasure” has been rising in searches on Google, fueling the long-standing theory that freeform or flow dance is one of the best forms of exercise to tone not only the body, but your mental health. A great way to promote health too. ,
“Using dance with clear intention can help relieve trauma, regulate the nervous system, and help a person get back into their body,” says Emma Marshall, founder of . movement is therapyA class that combines the science of somatic medicine with the ancient teachings of ecstatic dance.
Marshall practiced in 2019 after serious health problems left her unable to walk and didn’t have enough energy to leave the house, so she pursued ancient theories about the connection between Reiki treatments and EFT tapping and mental and physical health. Like, did extensive research on alternative methods. ,
“I challenged myself to dance every day, even for a few minutes, to post my videos on Instagram, and encourage people to get up and move in their homes during the pandemic. A challenge to do,” she explains. The way she danced so freely and effortlessly quickly became popular and that’s where her business started.
Marshall’s 60-minute class begins with a somatic meditation that enhances body awareness. She then guides the attendees to release the emotions that have been brought to the surface through tangible dance.
“Freeform and flow dancing is first about guiding how to tune into your body and then it’s about allowing yourself to move into a non-judgmental space.”
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Dancing For Pleasure: So Does It Work?
Short answer: Marshall believes so, and encourages you to try it if you’re skeptical. The following expert-led tips from a professional will help you on your way.
1. It’s Not About How You Look
Our society is built on being good at doing something and the entire teaching of Marshall is based on the idea that anyone who can walk can dance. Emma says, “Tiktok dance routine gives a medium for people to be able to express themselves, but it is all about beauty and if you don’t have coordination you can get so embarrassed and frustrated that it gives you a break. compels him to accept it.”
During class, Marshall encourages attendees to stay out of their heads (the thinking mind) by closing their eyes and focusing on how it feels, not what it looks like. This allows the body to take and move effortlessly in a state of flow.
“I can honestly say that if you put me in a dance dance class I wouldn’t be able to do it – because my body wants to move to the rhythm of the music, rather than being told how to move. I have There’s a good amount of free flow and rhythm because I’m attached to my body – but if you put me strictly Come DancingThat would be my worst nightmare.”
2. Power to the people
The way the classroom is taught is by giving people their power, encouraging conscious movement and making them feel that they have a choice in what they have. “It’s getting people to understand how their bodies want to move and how it’s connected to emotions,” Marshall says. “Weeks ago someone might have had high energy, felt a huge release and on top of the world, but a week later they needed to slow it down a little bit because of the state of being on that day, and that’s okay, “She tells.
“There’s no right or wrong way to walk.”
“It’s not like you’re following yoga poses key for key—there’s guidance in the beginning and needs to be worked on, but when we get to the dance part, it’s at your own pace.” And it’s all down to the person feeling empowered by the way they want to move forward,” she continues.
3. Find Your Release
Blissful dance is about listening to music, removing sight and getting into the rhythm with any kind of movement. “If there’s no music involved you can feel like you’re stuck in your head,” Marshall says.
“Music activates part of your brain on a sensory level so you can tune in to the rhythm. For some people, it’s easier than others. We still go into a somatic release, as if it were Qi At Gong Ek Retreat, it’s the same thing and that’s why we all love to hang out,” she shares.
As we mentioned earlier – when you go to a festival, you don’t care who is watching you. “You’re giving your body the same effect.” Marshall explains that in a retreat you can be so fixated on the healing aspect and doing it right that there can be a block in itself: “The job is about finding safety and then that release will come. “
4. Bridging the Gap between Ancient Knowledge and the Western World
The practice is about bridging the gap between ancient wisdom and the Western world to make dance therapy accessible and inclusive. “As much as I respected ancient practices, they didn’t click. The Western world is so deeply conditioned that we have separated healing and life so it takes us too long to let go. There are so many blocks in front of us. And it’s not part of our culture.”
Marshall wants people to see how easy it can be in Italy without going into the woods or retreating, but practiced in our own homes with the right equipment. “I’ve had heavy breath before – where people have released but then they’ve been sent home. I’m mentally strong enough to go home and integrate this into my life – but if you just released something If you did, you need to fill in that space with something else.”
5. Feel Your Emotions
As a society, we have become accustomed to feeling and hence accustomed to keeping our emotions in a box. “It’s not a fully designed process for emotional release,” Marshall says. “It could be just a matter of five minutes. Our emotions are our energy and our energy is just waiting to be set in motion.”
The specialist asks attendees at the beginning of the class to respect where they are at the present moment.
“If you’re not feeling 100% — that’s fine. Let go of your tears, it’s healthy. Maybe you’re holding onto some pain — you start laughing — or feel agitated. If you’re feeling sad.” So you can get back to bliss and you can feel the whole spectrum of emotions in one square. But it’s important for people to understand that this is all normal. Once we found where that energy is sitting And that’s done, so we get up and dance and that’s when we fill that space.”
Marshall began his meditation guidance on the feet as a way of getting people off the ground quickly. “I ask people to check-in the whole class on the chat box on Zoom. Then I give people the right equipment so they have support and guidance for things that may surface once they get home. There are too many people who have a fixed income and don’t have access to resources.”
A big part of exercise is to regulate the nervous system by bringing down cortisol and adrenaline levels. “You are immediately lowering your cortisol levels—which is fight, flight, and freeze. You are not going to turn off cortisol by working with the vagus nerves and breathing and touching certain parts of the body.”
The main neurotransmitter responsible for the results derived from Marshall’s class is acetylcholine, which is the main neurotransmitter. nerve The nervous system, which is responsible for “rest and digestion” and serotonin, the so-called “happy hormone”.
6. Rethink Your Gym Membership
If you’re a fan of going to the gym, there’s power for you—but if it doesn’t appeal to you, dancing might be your jam. “It’s supposed to be a low-impact workout, like a yoga class or a walk. The music I play and the tribal rhythms blend in to make people sweat.”
The class incorporates a slow pace of yin yoga in the first half and yang in the second half. 20 minutes of intense dancing is more than enough to reach the level we try to achieve through exercise, while also releasing the fascia, shares Marshall. “For people who have gone through prolonged stress, high-intensity exercise such as HIIT training or spin classes can be too much. Low-intensity workouts mean you’re still exercising but not putting your body in that high alert state. Plus, increasing your flexibility will help reduce joint and muscle pain and stiffness.
7. Consider Reducing Your Alcohol Intake
Again, this is very individual, but reducing your alcohol intake can increase both your exercise and happiness, the expert shares. “Hedonism is so generalized and as a culture we have an inability to say no,” she explains.
“People think that drugs and alcohol bring their happiness, but I believe that people must have the right intentions behind it. We are so concerned with social environments on a subconscious level, this is one of the reasons why this concept came about. ,” she continues.
“I’ve gone out a million times and just drank water. It means that I am fully aware and calm and know what is happening. I also feel more confident in self-love and body and that confidence radiates,” she explains. Why is it relevant to dance? Because Marshall has so many clients who attend his classes, those who quit drinking have also quit commuting or clubbing. “They’ve lost a part of them and the connection they once really enjoyed. But when they start dancing and letting go of that fear they regain that free spirit over and over again. Have the confidence to calm down and go back.”
Dancing for Happiness: 3 Dances to Try Tonight
Ready to give it a try? These YouTube workouts are free and guaranteed to give you an endorphin boost.
1. Marshall’s Movement Medicine Technique
2. Les Mills Dance Workout
3. Fitness Martial Dance Workout