In India, dance is more of a spiritual journey. Most of the classical dance forms depict the Tandav, Lord Shiva’s dance (also known as the Nataraja- creator of dance). It is believed that Lord Krishna danced with his gopis (Ras Leela). Some classical dances also depict the events that happened in Lord Krishna’s life. In the Navratri festival, dedicated to the goddess, the Garba dance form is performed. Each state of India has its own folk dance, dedicated to God, and its own traditional clothes.
There was a free demo class in one of the dance institutes, near my house. I went for the demo. I was introduced to basic Salsa dancing, the basic steps (basic level). It made me feel good about learning a new dance form.
I had learnt Kathak, one of the Indian classical dance forms, when I was in school. But lost touch due to board exams and studies. After a long time, almost a decade later, I joined a dance class – Salsa basic level, for 3 months. I learnt the basic steps and felt good about myself that I am trying something new and it’s making me refreshed.
Salsa is a social dance form. My teacher had told me that this dance form originated to make people come together and smile. With time, this dance form got transformed into new dance forms, got widespread and is one of the major social dance forms in the world today. Having a Western dance form class going on in Pune, in India, says a lot about the way this dance art form has influenced worldwide.
After completing the 3 months’ course, I joined a 6 months’ course, at a different and more established dance school. In this class I got introduced to Bachata, another social dance form similar to Salsa, but with different footsteps and some variations. (3 months – Salsa, 3 months – Bachata).
Dance had helped me get in touch with people of different ages groups. At socials, I met teachers who conduct dance classes in the city, and their dance showed their passion to catch each beat with so much elegance and swag. I got introduced to different forms of music (Latin music), know the beats well to improvise my steps. Seeing others dance at socials, has helped me try new dance steps and hand movements. The whole atmosphere at a Salsa social is full of enthusiasm, fun, music, laughter and food. Each person I met and meet at the social has taught me the value of passion for dance.
I had joined the dance class just to kill time and make new friends. But as I learnt more about Salsa and Bachata, it taught me that learning can be done at any age. It needs lots of hard work to do even do a simple step to look effortless and to be physically fit to move your body more elegantly.
When I look at people dancing these art forms, it makes me think about the term “marriage”. Marriage is so much similar to these dance forms, you need to trust your partner, have to understand each other, go through the different beats of life with lots of power and stamina, which in turn will give the couple a lot of confidence and wonderful fun moments to enjoy. Isn’t life about synchronizing and fun!!
Dance gave me happiness, confidence, alertness, the ability to listen to a tune carefully, exposure to new music and songs. Dance gave me few hours of a stress-free life and the ability to live in the moment. Dance has made me realize that it not only is a form of being physically fit but also moves you emotionally and can release “happy hormones”. Most of the dance teachers I have heard and spoken to told me that dance was their form of meditation.
So, dance can keep you at peace and help synchronize with the universe and tune into the beats of nature.
Keep dancing … and feel alive.