For centuries dance has been an integral part of culture. Long before the birth of the earliest human civilizations, there were ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations that took place in the form of dance. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when dance started but archaeology has indicated traces of dance from prehistoric times. In India, early paintings showed people dancing. In Egypt, tomb paintings showed different characters and figures in dance movements. Almost every country in the world embraces dance. Most countries are proud of its country’s origin and cultural traditions of their particular dance(s) and take great pride in preserving its legacy throughout the generations.

Dance is all about moving the body in an expressive way. As we all know, dancing can make us feel good. Dancing can even release endorphins (pleasure centers) in the brain. Besides music and singing, dancing is right up there, when it comes to enjoyment, pleasure and entertainment. Most often, dancing will involve music, singing and dancing all together. Dancing is universal and appeals to people all over the world. Dancing can be festive, thrilling and beautiful.

Dance is exercise and can be considered athletic. It is now referred to as “dancesport.” And as you may know, the Fordney Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to dance and dancesport. The Fordney Foundation provides young people with an opportunity to receive a gift of a sports grant that would allow them to train and compete in dancesport competitions. We also are very proud of our school program in the Conejo Valley, that has seen hundreds of happy, grade school children, learn how to dance. This program is ongoing and we are hoping to extend to other areas of the greater Los Angeles area in the near future. For those of us who make dancing a part of life, it makes a huge impact on our wellbeing and the many people we touch.

For those of you who wish to become professional dancers and see yourself on stage, I wish to tell you about something I’ve noticed reoccurring over and over again. It seems on certain television shows like, So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent, the judges not only want to see extremely professional dancing but also facial expressions and dramatic flair of a theatrical nature. They wish to see you act the part of the dance you are portraying. They want to believe that “you” believe in what you are doing! That means, you must now have full (e)motion when performing as a dancer these days. If your dance performance is not full of (e)motion, better start looking in the mirror when you are practicing. It is important for you to see what others are seeing when they look at you, how you move and your facial expressions. As I have said many times, “dancing is very (e)motional.” Learn to dance with every part of your body and face. It can make a big difference between you and someone else getting the top spot on that Broadway stage or winning in dancesport competitions.

It is not unheard of for dancing to be a method of healing. Dancing is a tension releaser. Many people from around the world of all ages and walks of life have found profound peace and happiness in being able to dance away their cares and illnesses. It can also be a rewarding emotional experience. You are never too old to dance either! And it does not matter if you’ve never danced in your life. Just get out there and try it! It usually makes an instant believer out of you and naturally puts a smile on your face at the same time. Something about dance makes us feel free.

Dance can be artistic and has definitely been considered art for a very long time. It is rich in self-expression as well as interpretation. It can be and most often is, a spiritual experience. Dance is one of the joys of my life. I would have a dancing world if I could run the universe. There would be a lot less war in the world and a lot more happy, dancing people!

Happy dancing,

Thought Of The Week:

Everything is energy. Your thoughts begin it, your emotions amplify it, and your action increases its momentum.



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website https://slowmotiondancevideos.com/