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Autumn Gardner
Ed Austin
Dance 261
24 March 2016
The Power in Dance
Dance. The word itself brings music to your ears and movement to your mind. Beyond
the beauty of any given dance lies power and expression. This expression allows human life to
flow to the music of a melodious song. The body itself is a miracle, and when bodies dance they
are celebrating the miracle of life. Martha Graham said, In a dancer, there is a reverence for
such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength
(Martha Graham). The body is like a glove to cover and protect something deeper within. Its the
keeper of a spirit with divine potential and endless creativity. Just as a musician becomes free to
express themselves when given an instrument, a dancer is free to show happiness, sadness,
frustration, love, and other endless amounts of expression when given a body to move.
Expression through body movement is the only universal language known to all mankind.
Because of this dance is largely unique in its ability to communicate to others. Dance, as an
expression and communication of the human experience, provides means so the difficulties of
life can be overcome and a free soul can shine through the body in God-inspired creative
movement that can literally be life-changing..
No one body is like another. Each and every person is unique in their own way. Beyond
the race, gender, or social circumstance that define us, each body in itself is still flesh. Every
body knows pain and suffering to one extent or another. Every body knows warmth and comfort

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and peace to one extent or another. There are universal needs and wants, feelings and desires, and
there is no language on earth that can communicate all things despite nationality, culture, or race,
save what we can do with our bodies. This makes dancing a unique art. Not only can one look at
a dancer as they could a painting, but they may also connect with a dancer in a very real way as
well as communicate some of the feelings, emotions, and needs that bond all humans to a
common ground. Xuexin Cai and Lauran Clingan said,
Regardless of which languages we speak, regardless of where we call home, we can all
find common ground through dance. Dance fosters collaboration and trust by breaking
down barriers in a magical way, which is difficult to describe but can certainly be felt by
all... as a universal language, dance speaks of joy and a hope that can never be taken
away (Cai).
Because it utilizes the universality of the body and communicates to the understanding of human
life across the world, dance is not only the most unique of the arts, but also the most powerful.
It is hard to be a dancer. Countless hours are spent torturing the body to expand beyond
capacities that seemed possible. Hours are spent day and night perfecting performance. Taxing
are the days where emotions are drained through the journey of self-expression and creative flow
within us. But despite it all, it is much harder to not be dancer then to be one. Dance is a relief
from daily stress. It pushes one to excellence and beyond what seems mortal at times. I fully
believe it has the ability to heal, to overcome, and to change you. Things that arent easy are
worth it. Theodore Roosevelt said, Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless
it means effort, pain, difficulty I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy
life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well (Roosevelt).
Life isnt easy. It may be hard to effectively communicate with others, to live with ourselves, and

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to find the purpose for living each day. Dance cultivates an environment that gives purpose to
life. That allows us to find truth. This is why dance is important to my life, to your life, and to the
life of all. It creates joy within people. It is refuge and peace. It is a home in which the body can
truly thrive and the soul can rightly be fed. It is within this home that the difficulties of dancing
and the difficulties of life are overcome.
When dancing one can leave this world and go somewhere new. Every demand, burden,
and brutality that is faced in the real world can be molded, meshed, beaten, or driven away by the
combination of creative ability and physical ability of an expressive dancer. The power to change
lies within a new found awareness of ones self and ones ability to break out and reach new
heights. To run, leap, crump, break, float, and turn, into a much clearer life. When I dance, my
mind clears and the clutters of life float away. My brain becomes a bowl full of technical,
enlightening, and difficult yet rewarding performance. For this reason, dance can be used as a
therapy for those who struggle more than the average body. According to Evan, a dance therapy
specialist, dancing is considered one of the most effective ways to help those with an eating
disorder because body movement connects one to their true shape of body and not the distorted
image seen in the mirror. She said, In my own work I have traversed many tangential roads that
I hope lead to that central radius of clarity (Krantz). The connection created to self through
movement inspires people and changes lives.
To know ones self in all its ailments and to push past the physical and mental barriers
that can haunt the soul is freedom. Freedom is healing. Freedom is flying. To dance is to become
free to really be truly who you are, who I am, and who we all could be. Through dancing there is
a powerful connection that can result when one finds self-awareness of body and soul that a joy
and a light within.

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I have at times, touched into that magical place where body and soul have come
together to shine with the light of Christ in movement. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is a religion that not only improves my life but improves my dancing. Influenced by this
church culture, understanding that the body is a gift and the soul is a combination of spiritual
with physical, allows expression to reach beyond mortal life and touch into the eternities. Elder
Russel M. Ballard of the quorum of the twelve said, Inspired art speaks in the language of
Eternity, teaching things to the heart the eyes and ears can never understand (Ballard). It is
inspired art like dance that can communicate thoughts and feelings that touch the soul deep
enough to spiritually enlighten. It is dance that can aid a broken soul to find peace and glory in
God and his love for us. It is dance that celebrates the miracle of our given breath. Our
miraculous bodies allow us to be like God and to create beauty just as he did.
To create is to satisfy one of the deepest yearnings of the soul (Buruca). When allowed a
free canvas or floor to paint on, the dancer becomes the brush and the movement the paint to a
beautiful creation. Stories are told through these body waves and ticks until finally a glorified
picture is unmasked and the dancer takes a bow. To create a quality picture, the light of Christ
becomes the driving force for the combination of paint strokes, and the inspired art testifies of
him. Dieter F Uchdorf, of the Quorum of the twelve said, The more you trust and rely on the
spirit, the greater your capacity to create (Buruca). What dancer doesnt want a greater capacity
to create? A capacity to reach new ideas that seem to express beyond this world into another life?
With the spirit being fed a culmination of healthy and righteous thoughts, the light of Christ, the
magical quality in dance, can expand the mind to creation that is powerful enough to save a life.
Because of this, dance is important in each individual as well community.

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Albert Einstein said, We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness,
we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the
dreams (Einstein). Every man dreams. Every man feels. As dancers the dreams, the feelings, the
emotions of all mankind can be expressed and understood by all. The movement can
communicate beyond words to impact lives in a spiritual way. The passion found within ones
self for the beauty of body flight heals hearts and saves lives. The abilities of a dancer are
intriguing and the expression inside is free. I dance for freedom, for truth, and for happiness.
When dancing, a force can overcome the body and the escape that is found there keeps going. It
is the creative expression, the light of the soul, and the ability to be something that a dancer
needs to remember when discouraged. The disappointments of life are as real as the highlights of
life. Dancing can and does express both, and in that expression is found both joyful celebration
and profound healing.

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Works Cited
Ballard, M. Russell. ""The Lord's Purpose for the Artist in the Gospel Plan." Elder Ballard's
Tuacahn Address. Fine Arts and Communications, 8 Apr. 1995. Web. 26 Jan. 2016.
Buruca, AJ. Dieter F. Uchtdorf-Create Mormon Message- HD. Online video clip. Youtube.
Youtube, 15 Jan. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Cai, Xuexin, and Lauren Clingan. "Dance as Universal Language." The Gazelle. The Gazelle, 5
Oct. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
Einstein, Albert. "Albert Einstein." Gaiam Life. Lotus Girl, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.
Graham, Martha. "An Athlete of God." This I Believe. N.p., 20 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.
Krantz, Anne M. "Growing into Her Body: Dance/Movement Therapy for Women with Eating
Di." Sorders. Springer, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.
Roosevelt, Theodore. "A Quote by Theodore Roosevelt." Goodreads. Goodreads, n.d. Web. 27
Mar. 2016.