ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dancing with Confidence

Updated on February 17, 2019
Jennifer Lynch profile image

Jennifer Lynch is a self-published author of The Silver Lining, We Hear You Angels, Williams Wishes, Liberty Angel and Never to be Told.

FINDING MY FEET

Around the age of 9, I found my feet with dance. I’d bring home my school reports, look for A’s but all I could see were rows of C’s and the words ‘dances well’ jumped out like a beacon of light, I still had hope and my self-esteem was boosted. In the grand scheme of things, I knew in my child’s mind that C’s weren’t really that bad, and as long as I could excel in something, I wasn’t a failure. One really thoughtful teacher had given me self-belief and my journey with dance began.


BALLROOM

A few years later, I begged my parents to pay for ballroom lessons, they were sorry but they didn’t have the money to pay for me, especially with the cost of the dresses. I would have to wait until I was older. I waited for what felt like a lifetime as it does when you are a child and at sixteen, I took my medal tests in Latin and Ballroom with the Imperial and National Society and scored very high marks. I also took part in many competitions and lost my beginners status dancing at Caister, Nr. Great Yarmouth, on a very cold weekender where the chalets seemed a little damp and moldy but the sequins on the dresses glittered and the trophies seemed attainable! In those days the late seventies, I was sometimes judged by the remarkable Peggy Spencer at Hammersmith Palais as our dance school took regular coach trips to London. I wanted to turn professional at 17 so I could teach dance for a career but had my confidence knocked by someone and gave up hope. At the age of 22, I gave up dancing ballroom and latin with the general pressures of young married life which left a big sadness in my heart, so it’s is an absolute pleasure to revisit the school where I used to have lessons Laits, in Clarkson Street. The memories of my youth and early dance experiences reverberate off the walls and flood back to make me smile.

CONFIDENCE

For me, dance and confidence are closely entwined. Dance is a well, a place where you can draw energy, a place where you feel connected to your feet, to the floor, to the earth. It is also a place where you connect to others through movement, gentleness, kindness, consideration, understanding, the making of new friends and fun. At times I’ve experienced people taking a long time to learn to dance, or they’ve used the expression ‘I’ve got two left feet’ but in reality, everyone gets there in the end, once they start to enjoy and let their inhibitions go. We were meant to dance and we’ve danced through the ages, through medieval times, in Courts, in streets, at festivals, dance has always been a celebration of life. Morris dancers on May Day, Maypole dancing celebrating Spring and fertility. The ribbons crossing and uncrossing in their vibrant colours as young children dance around each other. I laugh at the Maypole as I remember being taken out of a maypole dance because I got the ribbons all tangled up. I then had to sit in the middle to steady the maypole but I still took part. To me, this is the primary reason for dance, not always to be good it, but to take part. To get up there and have a go. To feel the rhythm of the music and to become one with that sound. To take your body in different directions to move your hands and feet where they want to go but maybe haven’t been before in anticipation and excitement that you are creating something which is unique to you. I dance Salsa now and more recently bachata and kizomba. Some of these dances very much rely on trust. For a man he has to trust himself with his leads and creativity, for a woman she needs to trust that she can let go and follow the man, understanding his signals as he leads her into spins, stepping boldly to and fro with his hands leading the way. I often think, just don’t think, just stay connected as I look at my partner leading, feeling the way into the motion which was once one but we are two.

Source

SALSA

So, when I think of dances well, I like to think of dancing to wellness because that’s what it does. When I returned to dance in my thirties, I’d been going through a horrible divorce, after which I’d had a head-on accident with a lorry. I was an emotional and physical wreck and I was falling into a deep depression. Then one day I saw an advert in a local newspaper for salsa dancing in Bury St Edmunds. I had been in a slump for so many weeks that although I wanted to go, it was hard on my own and it would mean getting a babysitter for my sons or making sure I was back by 11 pm as I didn’t want to leave them on their own late. At the time I was attending a meditation group and I had been talking about this for a couple of weeks when I was told, you must go. If you don’t do something you aren’t going to get any better. At this point, I made myself go for my first ever salsa lesson, from that point on I never looked back. I went every week for the next 10 years and I have also been to many different classes, later learning more Cuban and Rueda with the brilliant Miranda Campbell, in Ipswich. I’ve had a few breaks from dancing since then, mainly to write books but then I feel I’ve been away far too long and I quickly return to get my dose of me. Dancing is me and I am dance, we are inseparable.

I’ve now started attending some salsa weekenders which is another new branch to my social life. You meet people from all over the country which is tremendous fun. Dancing can become a way of life or it can be used as a tool to help your confidence, whatever way you approach it, the dance is to be enjoyed and it is there for you, whatever age you are. Whether you dance individually or with a partner or group. It is always there for you – waiting!

Softly stepping in time with the music

touching that inner space

Eyes meeting eyes reflecting moments

synchronized across the face

Moving swaying hypnotizing

trusting staying with what's real

Depths of passion for the music

learning just how to feel

Retraining what we knew already

deep in our soul before we lost

The earth's melodies of knowing

keeping time at any cost

Ballet to salsa, urban rhythms

they made us what we are

For in each turn we are reaching

For in each turn we are travelling far

In a sense in each direction

sits the essence of our soul

A subtle beat in the moonlight

A fire's embers on the coal

Light up the dance with new found

passion you are the master of the dance

You decide which way to take it

In a haze or in a trance

Merging but individual

In how deep it resonates

Bold and vibrant colours seeking

where dance does not hesitate


JUST TRY IT

Whatever you think of dance, unless you’ve tried it, it remains something which is slightly abstract because any explanation about the steps ultimately gets a little forgotten in the experience. I found that worrying what people think of you, what you look like if your partner actually becomes insignificant as you grow in body confidence and awareness. For me, dance is also spiritual growth, as you enjoy merging with another person’s energy and you learn to appreciate their individual styles, not expecting them to alter the way they dance but embracing individuality and unique gift.

As I came from a ballroom and Latin background, when I first took up salsa at the age of 38 it was easier for me because I already had good balance, knew how to spin like a diva and I’d been tried and tested through various dancing standards but I learned and I’m still learning now, is the more we let go and forget to anticipate, the better the dance.

Through my other work as a soul coach, I often recommend salsa or belly dance, to bring out the inner goddess and confidence in a woman, or man! Sometimes people look at me and joke about wiggling their hips and wonder how it can help. It may seem slightly odd that self-esteem and mental health can be improved by dance but for one, it vastly improves your body confidence and awareness. It’s also a social activity which forces you to at least say ‘hi’, or ask someone’s name. It grounds you and stops your brain over thinking, especially women who dance better if they don’t think! It totally relaxes you, uplifts you, makes you smile, makes you laugh and leave your troubles at the door! But one of the most important benefits of dance is exercise and flexibility, it keeps you young, not only in body but in your mind.

Pole

what type of dancing do you enjoy

See results

© 2019 Jennifer Lynch

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)