Essentially Yours

Dancing has been around since man realized he had feet. We know that dancing far exceeds just moving with our feet. Dancing is art and is creation within and without our body. Movement is a beautiful thing and we dancers treasure our dance life and wouldn’t trade it for anything. However, when one is going up the pro-am ladder or striving to become a professional ballroom dancer, our body and soul may go through some sort of maladjustment, aches and pain and even anxiety, at one time or another.

It is no secret that living in the dancesport world, takes everything you’ve got. There is so much to do and prepare for. We constantly need moral support, money, finesse, charm, ability, motivation and extreme talent, to be part of it all. Perhaps, I can lighten your load with a few tricks I’ve learned along the way.

Ever hear of essential oils? Right now, essential oils are a rage and very “in.” You can find them in almost any store. But more times then not, they are not thought of as tools for health, energy, beauty and even peak performance. Most people have heard of essential oils and yet don’t know what to do with them. I can help you with that! But first, here is a bit of historical info about essential oils.

Essential oils have been around since the prehistoric times. Cavemen discovered that plants could be used to make medicine and oils. Every country in the world discovered that plants and herbs found in their own surroundings; could be blended or used to make medicines, ointments, oils, and cosmetics.

It has long been said that Egypt was the primary country were the people used essential oils on a large scale. They made incense and perfume, as well as medicine and oils they could use every day. The famous biblical story from that part of the world was the birth of Jesus Christ and the Wise Men. Three Wise Men brought the gift of Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold to the sacred newborn on his birth (Christmas). The meaning of these spiritual gifts portrayed great honor. Frankincense was the essential oil they used in worship. Myrrh was the anointment (oil used in a religious ceremony for the entire body) used in birth and death and Gold, of course, was the precious metal to signify kingship.

Now let’s discuss how dancers can benefit from the many different essential oils; designed to make life more pleasant. First, the great thing about essential oils is that they can be used in so many ways and can be combined with each other. I have many essential oils and I diffuse them in my home regularly. This is the most popular way. A word of advice, find the best crafted diffusers that are a little bit more sturdy. The reason you would want to do this is because you will be using this device a lot and you want it to be effective and hold up. Also, the same goes for the essential oils. Since essential oils are everywhere, that means there are a lot of products out there, and they may not contain pure ingredients. Research is required to understand essential oils, their quality and their purity. I almost always use organic brands, as I want to use and breathe good, clean ingredients.

You can use essential oils in a spray with just a couple of drops in water for just about any part of your body, i.e. rubbing in your palms, deep breathing, etc. Again, research can help you find the desired essential oils for the effect you are trying to achieve. People not only use essential oils topically but certain essential oils can be used internally, medicinally, very carefully. Research is mandatory and you may have to experiment for desired results. Often times, you can dilute essential oils with a carrier oil; like olive oil or coconut oil for effective results.

Dancers, some of the ways you can use essential oils are for: fighting fatigue, raising energy levels, relieving stress, relief when you are sick and even control cravings. There recently has been research that essential oils help people with dementia. Here is a list of some of the essential oils I couldn’t live without: Peppermint, Wild Orange, Lavender, Tree Tea, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Myrrh and Frankincense. There are many more essential oils to pick from, just use the finest grade you can find.

This habit is a lot of fun and can prove to be beneficial. I encourage you to explore the essential oils world and enjoy it! Just remember, do your research and use essential oils responsibly.

**We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado. We call these memorial contributions. Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner. Make a donation and give us their name. We will soon put on our website a yellow brick road to add their name to a brick as a memorial to that person. This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel – Oliver Wendell Holmes



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