But since my daughters were born, I have not danced. Only vicariously through my girls' folk dancing (which lasted a blink of an eye) ballet, jazz and tap. They, unlike me, in their teens replaced these rhythmical pursuits with team sports.
Upon our return from living in Croatia, as I recorded in an earlier blog, I found Zumba. Together with my grown up daughters, we Zumba'ed for the term of our gym membership. After which I stopped due to injuries of one kind or another and nothing for over a year and a half.
Then I CRASHED. Grief hit me. Depression enveloped me. Anxiety startled me.
It took me a while to realize that I needed to do those things I once loved - namely dance.
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I found a different brand of movement to music. It was a gentle way to begin. But not gentle enough to stop the confusion. My feet and hands could not do simultaneous movements. I was uncoordinated to say the least ( a feeling I last felt after the birth of my first daughter when I joined a fitness class for new moms and my hands and feet went every which way but the way they should!).At the end of the class, I asked the teacher why this was so and she mentioned this by now not so revolutionary neuroplasticity of the brain. With practice, my brain would form new neural pathways and it would be easier to coordinate (not to mention healthy for the brain, too!).
Some months after Nia, I reintroduced Zumba.
Was I doing something wrong?
First lesson: no sweating.
Second lesson: no sweating.
What was wrong here? I needed to get out of my head and into my body, my psychologist said. But my body was flopping at this work out. Thinking that perhaps a Zumba class for beginners and Seniors was not exerting enough, I decided to give it another go before joining a full-on class. This time I did build up a sweat. And the next time, too. Maybe after focusing on the instructress' moves for two weeks, I learned something and was now able to dance at least half the class without concern of what the moves were. And, whether or not Perfectionist Valdone needed to get it perfectly right.
So even Zumba is helping to keep my brain in shape as I am finding out reading "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge.
The joy of dance is slowly beginning to fill my body again.
Dance keeps me out of my head for a time.
Published By: Valdone's Leaf