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The usefulness of dance in my opinion

Posted On: Monday, October 14th, 2013
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Author: Shruti Mahadevan, Bengaluru

ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ ೨೦೧೩ರಂದು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಮಟ್ಟದ ನೃತ್ಯ ಸಂಶೋಧನ ಸಮ್ಮೇಳನದ ಪ್ರಯುಕ್ತ ಆಯೋಜಿಸಲಾಗಿದ್ದ ರಾಜ್ಯಮಟ್ಟದ ನೃತ್ಯ ಭಾಷಣ ಸ್ಪರ್ಧೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿದ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಶ್ರುತಿ ಮಹದೇವನ್ ಅವರ ಭಾಷಣಪ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇವರು ಮಯೂರಿ ನೃತ್ಯಶಾಲೆಯ ಗುರು ಡಾ.ಶೋಭಾ ಶಶಿಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ಶಿಷ್ಯೆ. ೨೦೧೨ರಲ್ಲಿ ರಂಗಪ್ರವೇಶ ಮಾಡಿದ ಇವರು ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ಕ್ರೈಸ್ಟ್ ಕಾಲೇಜಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪದವಿ ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿನಿ.

 When I was asked to write about the topic ‘the usefulness of dance in my opinion’, I began by asking myself a fundamental question – what is dance? Dance to me is nothing but the attainment of a higher level of consciousness. This consciousness is not only from a mental or psychological perspective, but from a physical perspective as well. Now you might ask me what I mean by consciousness. In psychology, consciousness is defined as “the awareness of sensations, thoughts and feelings being experienced at a given moment”, but as a dancer, consciousness has a different meaning for me.

According to me as dancers, we learn and grow by observing other significant people in our lives – our Gurus, our peers, other senior dancers- they all play an important role in shaping the dancers we become later in life. As a result of this observational learning, we absorb and assimilate first into our bodies and later into our minds, things we consider worth emulating. After many years of sadhana with the art form, we finally attain a state of equilibrium, a state of rest in our minds. This is when true creative genius is sparked. This is what I mean when I say that dance is the attainment of a higher level of consciousness at both the mental and physical level. It not only benefits the dancer personally, but it can be applied in every walk of life, thus making her a worthy citizen of this country.

A dancer not only requires knowledge of her own art form, but must have a certain level of proficiency in music and literature, especially in classical dance forms. Thus classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, require a good knowledge of classical music and literature. Thus dance helps keep us connected with our ancient mythology, folklore and oral traditions, which are slowly disappearing with modernization and westernization.

Dance is not only an art that brings pleasure to the dancer and her spectators, but it is also a great stress buster as it allows the dancer to displace, her negative emotions and excess energy into something useful and beneficial.  This would be the sign of an emotionally mature adult, who is capable of handling conflicting emotions.

Dance is also a means of improving ones physical fitness, stamina and endurance levels. Research has shown that regular physical activity, keeps your body and mind healthy as one ages, it also increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells grow. And dancing requires one to remember steps and sequences that boost brainpower by improving memory skills. Thus it helps one maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Finally one of the biggest benefits of dance is that it helps us develop confidence and a pleasing disposition, both on and off the stage. This is very evident, when one need to distinguish between dancers and non-dancers – his or her stance, the way she talks, walks and way she carries herself, is always refined and stylized.  Thus in conclusion, dance is not just an art or a form of exercise; it is a spiritual connection one feels with the intangible and unexplainable forces, thus helping one attain peace of mind and acceptance of life’s ups and downs.

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