independent

Saturday 17 August 2019

WHY DO WE DANCE?

DEARBHAIL MURPHY

I'M A TEENAGER. I get nervous and embarrassed more easily than I should. I feel insecure about certain things. I don't know what I'm going to do in the future. I wonder if I've made the right choices. I worry about things that might never happen. I'm influenced by the 'celeb culture' that's everywhere. But as soon as I step onstage, and hear the music it all seems to fade away. I'm a different person. I'm confident in everything that I do. I know my steps and where I'm going with each movement. I'm sure of the music, its nothing new, I've heard it a thousand times. I'm one with the song, the steps and the dance. I become the dance.

After a dance class I started to think to myself why do millions of people from all around the world, from different backgrounds and 'up bringing's' dance? A friend and fellow dancer, 3 time All-Ireland Champion Kevin O'leary, said to me 'I dance because it's what I do best'. But maybe, other people dance because they have been doing it for years, some might dance as a form of exercise, some dance to socialise with the opposite sex, but mostly it's because they, the dancers, enjoy it. Although there are many reasons I can't answer for all these people but, as a dancer I can tell you why I dance.

I dance because it gives me freedom, makes me feel like I'm part of something, like I'm an artist of some kind. Dancing and being on stage, preforming makes me feel special. I know dancing; I have been doing it for 14 years. I started when I was 3 years old. My mother was a great dancer, so naturally my parents sent me to dance classes, ballet, followed by Latin and ballroom, then Irish dancing, then Modern dance. I have not walked through life, I have danced. So for me it's the rush and love I feel for dancing and it's the very same for millions of other people in the world.

' O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, how can we know the dancer from the dance?' - William Butler Yeats.

The truth is you can't tell the dancer from the dance, when he or she is totally in love with what they're doing and when they're doing it for themselves and no one else, the dancer and dance become one.

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