“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.” – Agnes De Mille
I have danced most of my life, only pausing to complete my counseling studies and establish my career as a Professional Counselor. Dance has always been something I was very passionate about and, as a Professional Counselor, it has also become a significant part of my own self care and healing. In my continued studies of African and African Diaspora dances I have experienced, first hand, the inherent healing nature they possess. African and African Diaspora dances are deeply rooted in:
- Connection to Self
- Connection to Community
- Connection to the Earth
African and many traditional African Diaspora dances fall under 3 primary categories:
- Ceremonial: Dances that are done for ceremonies, such as rites of passage, weddings, birthdays, etc. These dances can express things like joy, peace, felinity/masculinity, sorry and many more.
- Ritual: Dances that are done for spiritual or religious purposes to pay homage to ancestors and/or spiritual deities.
- Griotic: These dances are done as an expression of storytelling, and often tell stories long passed down among a specific group or tribe.
My approach to utilizing African and African Diaspora dances as a vehicle of healing pulls from ceremonial in that it is used to express deep emotions, spiritual to connect to our spirit within and offer praise, and griotic to encourage us to express our personal stories and experiences through movement. I believe that movement therapies are an excellent way of inviting the body to join the mind in the healing process.
“I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words.” – Ruth St. Denis
If you are interested in taking a Healing Dance class with Aliya, stay tuned! Class times and location will be posted shortly!