It gets to this time of year where our New Year hopes and resolutions begin to fizzle out and the rainy days all merge into one. Christmas and New Year seem like a long time ago and Spring feels like a lifetime away. I have to be honest and say that this is one of my least favourite times of the year. It's cold, it seems like there's not much to look forward to and we want to hibernate until it's warm and sunny. Couple this with rushing around and being busy at work, we tend to lose that sense of feeling alive and relationship with our senses.
Being a dance artist I always get a huge rush of emotions and adrenaline before, during and after my performances but it wasn't always like that. I worked in the same company for almost 6 years where towards the end I was doing things on auto-pilot knowing the job inside out, same thing, different day with no opportunity for growth. I wasn't thinking for myself and I wasn't really living, I was stuck in a rut and just passing time. It was only once I handed in my notice to live my dream of being a professional dancer that I felt like I had been plunged out of the mundane and started viewing everything in HD vision. For the first time since I was a teenager I had felt alive and suddenly all the colours of the world were brighter. My senses, smell, touch, vision, taste and hearing, were awoken.
Now, I'm not saying give up your day job but what I would like for you to think of what makes you feel alive? Is it spending time with your family, completing a 15 mile run at your personal best, travelling the world or helping those less fortunate?
I would like for you to spend 5 minutes tapping into these feelings and then try to hold onto them. These are the kind of highs that drink or drugs can't buy. You can exercise your mind and take control so that you banish those 'so-called' winter blues.
For me, dance transformed my life building my confidence and allowing me to take time out of my busy day to concentrate on me and forget about my worries. I find Belly dance, in particular, to be sensual and allows me to spend time getting to know my body, the same goes for my students; I see them understanding how to do things they never thought they could, whilst challenging themselves. We are often told to do things but if you don't question and understand why then what's the point. With out this knowledge how can you feed your mind and grow as a person? Belly dance heightens your senses allowing you to embrace your femininity in a way that works for you.
In light of this, I am running Sensual Sunday a one-off fitness inspired taster session combining sense-heightening dances, Belly Dance with Aerobics and Latin fusion. These sessions aim for participants to work a sweat, feel alive and dance all while having fun. More more info see: Sensual Sunday
I will leave you on this quote which the Ancient Greek Philosopher Aristotle put simply:
'The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival' - Aristotle
Award-winning Turkish Oriental and Theatrical Fusion performer and teacher.