by Adriana Paredes -Spiritual Arts Staff
In Kolkata, India, girls gather to twist and turn, laughing and joking as they try to dance to the music. At first glance it may seem like another ordinary dance class, except for one thing: The participants are all victims of horrific crimes.
It is a dance therapy session started by Kolkata Sanved, a human rights organization that seeks to help abused people return to mainstream society. Through dance and performance, Sanved is helping many souls and bringing to greater public awareness human trafficking problems.
A growing interest in dance and movement has accompanied recognition of the mind and body benefits of motor activity. Through creative movement of mind and body, stress and anxiety can be relieved and other health benefits can be achieved as well. In other words, dancing is good for the soul!
In the US, prisoners use dance as a path of rehabilitation. At 17, Andre Noel was sent to Woodbourne Correctional Facility on burglary and assault charges. It was there that he discovered modern dance as part of a therapy program initiated by Susan Slotnick . Dancing helped Noel to find his path in life and now he is part of the dance company his instructor at Woodbourne initiated.
Slotnick expresses how real change doesn’t come from somebody telling you how to behave. Real change comes in the heart, and that’s what the arts can do—film, music, poetry, dance, theater. It can change people in their heart, and that change is permanent.
In China, parents and teachers were introduced to dancing, or movement therapy, to try to help children with autism or other disorders. Christina Devereaux brought the therapy to China. She has been using dance and movement to treat autistic children in the US for 12 years to help them communicate and connect with society.
Barbara Y. Martin, spiritual teacher and aura specialist, adds, “People often don’t realize that there is a spiritual component to dance. The human aura is in motion; it’s not static. Constructive movement and dance can generate spiritual energy in the aura. Around athletic people, I often see carnation red for vitality and bright orange for motivation.”
If dance can change your heart, bringing vitality to your aura and to your life; then let’s join in and simply dance.