My first language is dance

I still feel my dancer’s body.

A deep hypnosis session with Jeffery Rink revealed that. Not straight away mind. Only once I’d allowed myself to listen deeply to the doctor’s soothing voice for long enough to push away my conscious mind. But then I knew. I felt it with every fibre of my being. Dancing has been shut away for so, so long. This time of isolation is child’s play for me, in comparison to the complete imprisonment of my need to dance.

Under trance, I feel the movements of Dvorak’s New World Symphony.  The wooden stage beneath my feet moves the rhythm up into my body and the audience recedes into  shadows. As the other dancers take their places, the drama of the music ripples through every muscle. Weeks of rehearsals turn into instinct. We become the dance. Only as we execute the split second ending and the audience rises to give us a standing ovation, do I consider the enormity of it all. Here I am, on stage with my beloved teacher Rhoda and fellow dancers, accepting the accolades for best choreographed piece of the eisteddfod. It is no longer a competition. We are part of the championship showcase. The best of the best. And it’s still tucked away inside of me.

It was the last time I did any serious dancing.

“You okay?” Dr Rink’s brow is creased as I open my eyes.  A zoom session is as intense and real as a physical session, if not more so.

“Almost tearful.” I offer him a weak smile.

“Why don’t you make that tearful?” He responds.

Our next appointment is to be longer. I’m not surprised. This really was my first language. I embraced it and later clung to it.

“Let your feelings really show,” my darling teacher would plead. Dancing was the temple for my emotions. The stage was the place where I held my own power. It was my therapy. So it’s no surprise that I’ve come full circle. Archie’s ears are pricked and he has that mischievous look on his face…the one that precedes an attack.

“I need to do this boy,” I tell him. He swipes at my pointed toes. “Just as you need to hunt, I need to dance.” The tip of his tail flicks in protest and before I can stroke him, he’s gone. I’m hoping for a visit in the wee hours.

Two Xeloda tablets are set out next to my bed and my alarm clock is set for seven o’clock. My mornings and evenings begin in the same way, for now.  And I am truly grateful for this treatment. But the threat of the Corona virus and the reality of breast cancer, are the tip of the iceberg. I google The New World Symphony and turn up the volume. Archie reappears. There is something different happening in his home and he needs to investigate. I attempt another explanation as his tail retreats.

“In order to heal on every level, I need to re-integrate dance into my life…”



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