I discovered the ecstatic side to dancing when I was in junior high school in Iowa, oddly enough. It was one of those sanctioned school dances where the boys were on one side, and the girls on the other, and Herman's Hermits played on the stereo. It was also the late 60's and self-expression was given particular weight during that time, and, well, I took full advantage of it. It was the era of "dancing by yourself" which was kind of new back then, although it was still better form to have a partner of the opposite sex dancing by herself along with you.
I discovered that I could make up my own dance--I could move rhythmically, all in my own way and it felt really good. I worked up a sweat and felt more alive. Oddly, after the event, I went back to my regular teenaged life without a second thought about it--until the next dance, of course. I did learn that I could do this where I noticed others were either too shy or not coordinated enough to look like they were, 1. dancing, 2. having a good time. I realized I had an aptitude.
Flash forward to adult life, and here I was dancing full out again at a concert. The music was full blast and fully immersive, and my body just responded. I laughed, I sweated, I felt my heart pounding, I felt so ALIVE. After the concert, I went home, re-entered my mundane life and barely gave it another thought, other to say, "I danced my ass off last night," to those who inquired.
Flash forward to a yoga festival a couple of weeks ago, and once again--after about a couple of years--I was full-out dancing to a geat rockin' band with an enthusiastic crowd, who circulated around each other creating a sort of group dancing gestalt I experienced it as quite profound. Here we were all expressing ourselves to the music and it somehow all came together as though rehearsed.
As I floated back to the RV after the show and dance, I wondered why I didn't do that more. Why don't I just dance in my house? Why not just dance outside? It made me feel so good, why not make it a part of my daily routine? I realized I had compartmentalized my dancing experience and set up strict requirements as to what specific circumstances must exist before I do it. I realized how ridiculous that was.
I don't need music to dance. I don't need a concert-level sound system to dance. I don't even need any reason to dance, because dancing is reason in and of itself. After all, Life is a dance, really. We dance among our thoughts, we dance around in rhythms with our cars, our friends, our family, our values, schedules, judgments and pets. And all around us things are dancing: air molecules, trees, dust, noise, and smells. Everything is in motion--everything dances.
So now, I just dance, and it always feels good.