What dancing teaches us about life

What dancing teaches us about life

by Ashley Tan 12 Feb 2018

If you’ve ever scrolled through inspirational photos and quotes on Instagram or Pinterest, you would have probably encountered the dictum, “When you dance to your own rhythm, life taps its toes to your beat.” Dance is often seen as a metaphor for life, because of all the lessons it offers. From building resilience to learning to go with the flow, learning how to groove to the beat of the music playing in the background bears promise of assisting with self-development and growth.


If you’re a dance aficionado or used to dance professionally, you would have probably observed a dancer tumbling on his or her face on stage at one point or another. Falling down is part and parcel of a dancer’s journey, in the same way that failing is inevitable in the voyage we call life. But, in order to move forward and improve, learning to pick ourselves back up is key. Whatever it is, just keep dancing – persistence goes a long way.


In a world where social media and smartphones hold a pervasive influence over our lives, it can be difficult for us to disconnect and be present in the moment. For dancers, using phones on stage or during practice is not an option; after all, the music doesn’t wait for anybody. For the purpose of putting up a good show, it’s essential for dancers to immerse themselves in the moment and enjoy it, which is something that we can take heed of in our daily lives as well. So, instead of “phubbing” your friends and family by scrolling through Facebook when you’re having a meal with them, put your smartphone away, and take some time to be present in the moment and really connect with your loved ones, in person.


Because of the uncertainty and unpredictability that life brings, it can also be difficult to let go of control and allow nature to take its course. But sometimes, it’s better to just allow yourself to sway freely to the rhythm of the music. Going along with the events and activities that the universe has in store for you doesn’t always have to feel unsettling or risky – it can in fact, bring inspiration and help you cast aside your worries. Controlling every aspect of your life is much too tiring and generates so much friction, so why not just let loose and go with the flow? 


Staying grounded, finding your balance, and strengthening your core aren’t things that apply solely to dancing. Navigating through the twists and turns life has in store for us requires various amounts of effort – you can’t just bumble around and hope to make it through to the other side. There will be times of looming uncertainties; just breathe and take a leap of faith. Who knows? You may end up jeté-ing into a world of fortuitous felicity, even if you weren’t actively seeking it!