Why Do We Dance

“Shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first”

Why do we dance? We dance because it’s the fastest, most direct route to the truth — not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what’s-happening-in-me- right-now kind of truth. This is not always easy for us to access — we have to navigate some very deep past, as well as the probable futures we drum up to feed the fear that drives us round the same circles, day in and day out. We dance to hook up to the true genius lurking behind all that bullshit — to seek refuge in our originality and our power to reinvent ourselves; to shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first. You remember being fifteen, possessed by the beat, by the thrill of music pumping loud enough to drown out everything you’d ever known. Of course you do.

We dance to reclaim our brilliant ability to disappear in something bigger, something safe, a space without a critic or a judge or an analyst. The beat is a lover that never disappoints and, like all lovers, it demands 100% surrender. It has the power to seduce moves we couldn’t dream. It grabs us by the belly, turns us inside out and leaves us abruptly begging for more. The beat is bad, wicked, sick –whatever the word is now.

“Dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things”

We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things, to wipe out memory or transform it into moves that nobody else can make because they didn’t live it. It’s a sacred thing, the beat. We love beats that move faster than we can think, beats that drive us ever deeper inside, that rock our worlds, break down walls and make us sweat our prayers.

We dance to survive and the beat offers a yellow brick road to make it through the chaos that is the tempo of our times. Chaos is the way of the mind when it is free-styling , winging its way back to an instinctive, intuitive intelligence, the kind we need to survive — not only the real shit going down, but the massive amount of stuff we insist on making up to insure our suffering. God provides, and god don’t need no help. God is the dance and the dance is the way to freedom and freedom is our holy work.

So get down and find out what your hands, your shoulders, your elbows, knees and, most importantly, your hips and feet have to say about it. There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now, always changing, always true. Are you willing to listen with fascination? If you are, it will deliver you unto the self you have always dreamed you could be. This is a promise.

Gabrielle Roth
Manhattan on a hot muggy day in July

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  • Wendy

    Every chance I get!

  • Diannawarren

    Inspiring! “Dance in the body you have”- Agnes DeMille DW

  • My dance

    Each moment, each movement, each breath, each pulse, each pause, each turn, each thought, each encounter, each prayer, each cup of tea, each earthquake…Each, every, and all…is a dance

  • Nancylee B

    reading these words my mind struggles (doesn't it always) to understand what my body and soul has experienced and deeply knows through dancing. my mind wants to solve problems and makes them more difficult in doing so- and my body whispers in her subtle ways about another way to be. whew- i needed this reminder- and now off to presence studio tonite to dance.

  • Kat

    no more, no less.. just dance..xxKat

  • Baldamayo

    dancing same word as living ..earth same word as dancing floor…thanks for transmission..in love expansion

  • Rafael

    Get down on it! Get down on it… let's dance!!!

  • Christiansenja

    I loved the way you described dance. I think people tend to think it to be something very structured. It's hard to move away from that kind of thinking. Yes, thank you again. Dance is organic and individualistic. Unfortunately., I think we think dance is what others think. Bah! Just move!

  • Cheryl

    If you think about it, the flowers dance in the breeze, the trees dance, the birds have their special dance, the animals in the wild have their dance moments, the fishes in the sea dance gracefully and sometimes wildly. This is so natural so why would we be left out. No, we are definitely not left out. We have been created to dance in praise and just because it feels so good. We dance in answer to the Spirit of God, in the feel of breeze, in the sounds around us. We dance because we are free and to become free. You cannot feel depressed or stressed and dance at the same time.

  • Dbag

    I dance to show off and hopefully get laid. This article makes me think I’ve missed something.

  • ramah

    napenda kucheza and i wanna dance in ma all life.

  • atwaterpub .

    Well said.

  • WONDERFUL post – well written, well supported points, inspiring – I could go on, but I think linking to this content will say it all. Watch for a ping from an upcoming article on my blog (currently in draft).

    In the ADD/EFD community, dancing is a mini-vacation — it helps us quiet the ever-present “brain-chatter” and calm down amygdala activation.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  • Left a comment a week ago about a link here in an article to post later. Later is NOW – ’tis up. “Lead us not into Temptation” on ADDandSoMuchMore – dot com.

  • Want to let you know that I have linked this article as Related Content to the now LIVE article on ADD-and-So-Much-MORE entitled “The Virtues of Lowering your Standard.”

    Please take a moment to go take a look, and to engage in dialogue with any of my posts you find “related” to what YOU do.

    You are welcome to leave a link to something else you have written in the comments section (one per comment or you’ll be auto-spammed, btw)

Links back always appreciated, of course.


  • Michel Samuel Gihtah

    dance s l fe thans for that wonderfull lesson on dancng

  • Michel Samuel Gihtah

    my hert cannot hold the joy so dance

  • Luke

    Hey, this is kool n True, I’ve been a dancer for a long time now, even tho I’ve stopped earning a living with it I still do some everyday and these are the reasons why.

    I find dance has a way of still recognising past and future but with the ability to make it present, it can express desires, fears, agility, strength, versatility in general, it can show much more than the amounts of words in the dictionary, I think its impossible to explain it fully but that’s what makes it special… A word is a word but dance is itself.

    I do believe it can show a persons level of awareness, connectivity and balance to “in the dance but beyond the dance also ” from dance over yes I’ve been able to pick many different things… Sexuality, arrogance, ability to listen with movement while still having the senses in tune.

    Its a shame that more don’t do it, its also a shame that the judgement of others and themselves stops them, thus leading to ppl thinking they need to be highly intoxicated or even drugged up.

    On that note Dance is wholistic and can’t look bad if you find your own rhythem, I still move Great today, seriously Pippin n lokin/kicks everywhere lol I love it and its lightness and everybody should :) dance y’all and if you don’t I will lure you in with my snake Chalmers moves :p

  • juanita

    we dance to fall in loveeeeee

  • juanita


  • not all who wander

    Interesting, for me when my wife drags me onto the dance floor my mind goes into overdrive. I’m not certain what I am watching for but my body and mind go into high alert. ::shudder::