By Lonestar Dance Center instructor Raymond White.
I have a dear friend from college who suffers from severe depression and anxiety. Because of her mental illness she goes through a lot of ups and downs everyday. Her therapist told her that trying different art forms could help to calm her down when she feels a breakdown coming on. She. Tried. Everything. From drawing to poetry she went for months trying this and that only to be given little relief from her own mind.
During this time I was getting my ballroom dancing certification and was out of town. When I came back she told me all about it and how she was running out of ideas of what to try next. I asked if she had tried dancing before, which she hadn’t, so I made a deal with her. I would teach her how to dance after classes all week and that Saturday we would go to a dance hall and see how things went.
Sure enough the week flew by and though we struggled along I managed to teach her how to two-step. I don’t think I had ever seen her laugh and smile so much than she did that Saturday night. Her nervousness about what to wear and if she would look funny trying to dance disappeared along with her other troubles. We danced, and laughed, and had a great time. She even got asked to dance by two complete strangers. Talk about a confidence boost.
When we finally got back to our apartment she was too excited to sleep, so we made another deal. We would go out dancing every chance that we could because she loved it and it made her feel like there was nothing to worry about. Dance is truly and amazing thing.