I have been in a relationship with dance for as long as I can remember. In my childhood home within the US cities that nurtured what remained of immigrant Cuban, African, and Native American cultures, everyone danced. I loved dance from my first experience with it and so did many of the people I was related to by blood or through extended family networks. Dancing was just what we did whenever we gathered, worshipped, mourned, and/or loved. Not only did I dance at home and in private spaces, but I also danced at school as part of the physical education curriculum as early as kindergarten and all the way through high school. Granted, dancing as a youngster with other children in circles and rings while chanting songs was a bit different from what was done at home, but only in the moves and not the feelings. In turn, both of those were different from dancing with other young adults at a high school, gathering in circles and lines, while we sang along with the popular songs. And that was different still from dancing with others at religious events like weddings and after funerals, which was completely uplifting and freeing. Yet that feeling of being uplifted and free was a feeling I felt whenever I danced.
KeywordsSpiritual Practice Mystical Experience Cultural Consumption Popular Song Spiritual Connection
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- 1.Drid Williams, Anthropology and Human Movement: Searching for Origins ( New York: Scarecrow Press, 2000 ), 109.Google Scholar