What is Dance?: The House of Dance Contest Winners

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Something rather extraordinary happened when I invited you to define dance here, in this blog. It was as if all the other noise of the world had been turned off, and only music was playing. Your responses were all so good that I've chosen to reprint them all here.

I have chosen not two, but four winners (and wish, indeed, that I could send books to you all). Those of you who see your quote highlighted here, get in touch with me so that I can mail you a copy of House of Dance, now out in paperback.

Dance is a physical expression of music, a chance for anyone who is willing to close their eyes and lose themselves in the moment, to let their bodies respond to the sounds that fill their ears. Unlike any other art form, it's a blending of heart and mind, body and soul. Dance can be freedom. But not everybody wants to be free. — Solvang Sherrie

Dance is feeling the rhythm suffuse itself throughout your body, become your pulse, and allowing your body to naturally follow that beat. It's letting yourself go to the moment, to the joy of life, to inhibitions and fears. — J. Petro Roy

Dance is the body telling a story. It brings the song to life, as if your body is a host to the music. — Jami

I think that dance is a way to physically express emotions that can't always be expressed verbally; or sometimes its a way to tell a story that might not have the same effect by simply speaking it. — Lauren

Dance is expressing yourself and your emotions. You tell a story.Delete — uprobablydontknowme

In simplest terms dance is self expression. It is the self expression of the creator of the movement, the choreographer. It is also the self expression of the dancer. Trained or untrained it does not matter. It is about expressing emotion through movement; whether to music or silence, in front of an audience or alone in your bedroom. — Danielle

Dance is telling a story with your body in it's simplest form...perhaps only a feeling...but an expression nonetheless. — Stiletto Storytime

Dance is creating art and a way to express who you are. — Sarah

Dance is the poetry of movement. I know my answer isn't as long as others but I feel that is the best way to describe dance. Terrific contest Beth. — Briana

Dance is a physical response to an irresistible stimulus, bringing internal and external rhythms together and forcing the body to move in time with them. As they sang in Hairspray, "You can't stop the beat." — Florinda

Dance is losing your inhibitions and expressing how music physically moves you. — BermudaOnionDelete

Dance is an acristic:

Dappaankuthu from Tamil; percussion; Bollywood.

Ardha from Arabia; Bedouin; war-dance.

Nutbush from Tennessee (City Limits!); line dance...

Coček from Serbia; belly dancing; gypsy brass!

Eisa from the Nansei Islands; memorial service - Ryūkyū musicians...

Take your pick!

Tanja Cilia

Dance is opening of your heart and mind to the bodily movement of the inspiration that grabs hold of you. — Katie Guzman

Dance is moving your body in new ways, pushing boundaries and changing perspectives. I love getting lost in my own movements- sometimes even caught off guard. Dance allows you to be who you want to be (especially when done in the privacy of your own room). It is awesome. — Taryn

Dance is the body's way of celebrating freedom of mind and spirit. — Bee

Dance is when your body becomes a channel for which music can flow. When your veins run with the flow and rhythm. Your very movements are decided by the tempo, you get lost in the beat. Dance is like the changes of nature, for which each sound, your body, and the dance change in a never ending cycle. Dance is an expression of yourself,as you find your heart, and others somewhere on the smooth wood floors. To me, dance is an expression of emotion, but more importantly, Dance is the movement of life. — GooseGirl

Dance is a chance to express yourself through music, it's an art - blah blah blah. The classic textbook answer is that and such. Not that it's wrong, but I believe you can't just define dance to be a mere meaning to be able to just move your feet and/or body to a rhythm (though that's highly necessary, in matters that you wouldn't want to just fling your arms about and smack someone). For some people, dancing is their life. Others, it's a culture (perhaps to celebrate their succesful day of hunting). Wrong thinking would be, such as various belittling professionals: if you aren't willing to do your best, don't dance at all.
However that's not even remotely true. Just because you can't doesn't mean you shouldn't. If you want to say what you mean and you're not good with words, dance. Show others you mean something and that the beauty in what you see will be shown to the rest.
Plus, it's great exercise. — Jade

Dance is what you feel like doing when you are happy - so I could say that it is happiness in 3D :) — Pink Dogwood

Dancing discards the shell; discovers the soul. — Sherry

To dance is to let loose. Forget about the world and just flow with what's within. — TruBlu93

Dance is...an expression of everything one feels. It can be fast or slow; it can be with someone or alone. It can be joyful or sorrowful. Dance doesn't have to be perfect, nor can anyone really define perfection. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it has to come from the heart. Someone dancing without an ounce of rhythm can be just as beautiful as someone dancing with technical perfection. It expresses what one feels inside, and should be shown with unabashed freedom. — Hilary

I have always thought dance was your own form of interpreting the music. — pitu572

Dance is sweeping the air into life, learning that you can move, that you can fly; that you have every right to live and put your inhibitions behind you. — Inkgirl

Dance is the act of freeing your mind, body, and soul and just feeling the beat of the music as it moves through you, girating as if the whole world belongs to you and all your problems are wished away. — Boriquaz

To me dance is many things. First off - it is a way to express your emotions, your passion and your energy in a purely physical way. Dance is also something where you can view someone's entire soul by the way they hold their hand or they way the spin. It's beauty and poetry with no formal training required. — Michelle

Dance is letting go, remembering, or expressing yourself and your emotions. Dance simply is whatever you want it to be. It's anything, and everything. — Lea, YA Book QueenDelete

dance isn't just moving along the music... is moving with the music, feeling it & expressing your own feelings to it. — CaRiiToO


Julia said...

Hi there,

Thank you so much. It does mean a lot to me.

I will get in contact with you shortly. Thank you for your comments on my blog.

Sherry said...

So fun to read all of the entries here. Dance is wonderful, as is your book and you. Visiting your blog turns off the world and turns on the music...every day.

Sherrie Petersen said...

You got some wonderful quotes in there, but I'm so excited that mine was among the winners! Yay! Thank you, Beth!

bermudaonion said...

Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Woman in a Window said...

Oh my, Beth. You are music. Look at all the dancing in your wake. Gorgeous entries. So interesting to see how we all interpret. Dance to me, emotion born in skin.


pink dogwood said...

I cannot tell you how happy I am :)

I will email you soon.


septembermom said...

I loved reading all these words about dance. Congratulations to the winners! Did you get to see the dance performances on the Oscars last night? Wonderful, wonderful...

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