Healing through dance

By Diana Ashjian
November 19, 2004

Lori Iannella

If dance had a voice who would it speak to? This artistic form of non-verbal communication known as dance has existed throughout history just as long as the rhythms that these expressive movements follow. More profoundly than its definition, though, shaking it “like a Polaroid picture” can render advantages beyond a more toned physique.

Cabrini College’s dance team, “provides its members with the opportunity to jointly express the college’s spirit and exhibit melodic movement that inspires vigor as well as encourages Cavalier pride along with the cheerleading team,” Jenna Mayo, junior, said. The dance team does so mainly by dancing during the half-time of Cavalier sport events and then turns the stage over to the cheerleaders, whose purposes are just as bright.

Dance can enhance creativity while allowing an outlet to the expression of it. Even if a person is just out to have a good time when on the dance floor there is a positive energy that is somehow generated whether by intention or not. “Dance as in any of the arts has the power to heal. The self-expression is an important outlet of feeling and emotion,” Dr. Adeline Bethany, director of the Fine Arts Department, said.

Dance, like athletic sports, allows the body to release tensions. But, the disciplines of dance are less aggressive and more focused on the person as a spiritual being as well as a conscious being. Colleen Bowman, junior, said, “Dance is just as beneficial to the mind as any sport, but probably more emotionally beneficial because when you dance you just move to the music and you don’t worry about what has to be done, it’s just fun.”

Whether an aspiring dancer prefers styles that mimic swaying hips like Elvis Presley or skillful steps mixed with attitude like that of Julia Stiles in “Save The Last Dance,” styles of dancing are very diverse and can be practiced by anyone. The waltz and the two-step have long been outdated, which leaves room for the average person to just move; however, it feels good to move without confine or restriction.

“In practicing techniques that offer help with connecting to the inner-self you also practice ways of living, loving and honoring yourself,” Linda Stazione, yoga instructor, said.

If dance had a voice it would probably sing to the world to let it know that everyone’s body is uniquely different and exists to enjoy the abilities that it is granted through leisure and exercise, but especially dance since it is so expressive and reflective of nature and, therefore, reflection of self.

“That’s why we [dance team] dance at half-time,” Jenna Mayo said, “because when the cheerleaders and the Cavaliers take their breaks it’s our turn to show how we care about our school and what’s going on right now, in the games and in our lives, through the way we move.”

Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella

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Diana Ashjian

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