There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.
Joy is our birthright. We are designed to experience pleasure. However, have you ever noticed how easy it is to drift to the one negative comment in a sea of positive responses? To dwell on one doubt in the face of overwhelming support? Yes, we are designed to experience pleasure but our brains have what neuropsychologist call a negativity bias. Therefore, we need to practice embodying the full spectrum of human joy, teaching ourselves happiness to counterbalance evolution's survival directive.
In Open Floor movement practice, we investigate embodied joy — the kind of joy that transcends one’s own personal gain, like generosity, compassion, peace and benevolence. Dancing is the perfect medium for developing our capacity to tolerate the “big hits” of rapture or ecstasy, and noticing the quieter forms of joy such as presence, health, connection, belonging, kindness, ease and well-being. All of these particular qualities of joy have had imprints within our being. We can strengthen these neural pathways — we can dance ourselves into being happier people — at least more of the time.