Dance as a Heart Opening Movement

Heart opening dance

For years I have been telling my students to dance forward with intention, to mean each step, to move from the heart. To do this, one must be open, willing, empowered. With the posture, one must be uplifted to remain connected and engaged.

Take a few minutes to try this. Stand up and get your body centered and aligned–line up your ears over shoulders, over hips, over feet. Start first by getting rooted to the earth through the feet, feeling all four corners of the feet on the ground, still staying light on the feet by not sitting down into the heels, but keeping the body centered through both sides of the arches, and rocking slightly into the balls of the feet.

Now you are grounded but can move and shift quickly. Try it and see what that feels like!

Move up the body with your breath, slowing down your breath, breathing deep, as if you could breathe through all your limbs. Breathe up the front of the body, inhaling, scanning up the legs, through the pelvis, hips, belly, ribs, as you lift up through the ribs, the heart, opening up through the shoulders, the pectoral muscles, neck, face, up and over your head as you exhale down the back of the body, lengthening through the neck down the spine, releasing tension in the shoulders, draw the shoulder blades down your back. Soften through the lower back, down the back of the legs, knees soft, not locked, and down into your feet. Whole body scan. Aligned, feeling ten feet tall, lifting out of the tip of your head, connecting with the sky, straight strong body, chest open, shoulders back, light in the feet, grounded with the earth. Feel your own power in your belly by pulling the navel in to meet your spine. This is your center, from where your moves originate. Your power center, your core. But lifting up into your heart, breathing deep, is where your soul can move from, with intention. Try walking slowly from this place. Pay attention to how your body moves as you walk with intention, each step forward. Whoa….feeling strong, powerful, connected to and in your body. Love that…The dance becomes a moving meditation.

My Tribal Bellydance is ultimately about the dance in connection in the group, sharing in and feeding off of each others creative energies and ideas. But I still have to start with myself. By allowing myself to be open, to be in the moment, I can let the dance move through me and out of me; there is that connection with myself, my spirit, my body. And I am confident in the knowing of my dance. I trust myself. I open my heart to share it.

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