My friend Donna, who is 50-something, is taking ballet lessons for the very first time. She wanted to dance as a child, but her parents couldn’t afford lessons. She enrolled in a beginner’s class for teens and adults and is thrilled! Her inner ballerina waiting patiently to be ‘en pointe’ has been birthed.
My friend Barbie decided when she was very young that she could not sing. It’s not that she couldn’t sing, everyone who can speak can sing. She was shamed into believing that she didn’t sing well so she stopped singing. Even in church, she would lip sync hymns. Barbie is singing karaoke! I wish she lived closer so she could dare me into karaoke.
And then there’s my friend Jane who took up painting after her kids had grown. She sells her work in local art shows and has a Facebook page as ‘artist’. Inspiring.
I turned on PBS Sunday evening and was delighted to see a report about the benefits to our aging selves of engaging in artistic expression. Dancers are less likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease. AND dance is being used in forward-thinking nursing homes. How does a person dance when confined in a wheelchair? Arms, fingers, toes, facial expression and laughter. In addition, cognition and mood improves when people sing or have an opportunity to create art or even look at and discuss works of art. It all makes sense to me, yet artistic expression is often seen as something nice but not necessary and ‘The Arts’ are continually under-funded and sometimes completely eliminated in public school. What a pity.
Love what you love and do what you love. I’m not a ‘good’ dancer, but I love to dance and I will continue to dance until I take my last breath, whether on my feet or in my imagination. I don’t sing karaoke, but I do love to sing at the top of my lungs whenever I have the chance. As I approach another birthday, I’m exploring denied or delayed aspects of my artistic self. I’m willing and eager to allow another expression my inner artist to be birthed.
The Arts bring heaven to earth and we could all use a lot more of that.
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” – Mark Twain