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A journey through grief, self discovery & singleness

  • Writer's pictureChristine Angelique

The Power of Dance

We’ve all heard that exercise helps ease symptoms of depression. I personally do feel better when I go on a hike, or manage to do a quick, at-home workout. But researchers have also found that dancing, in particular, can boost your mood, fight depression and improve your overall well-being. I can 100% attest to this! Back in high school, being a part of the dance team gave me self-assurance, and made me a more confident person. Lately, I’ve been missing the feeling dance gave me all those years ago. So as part of my weekly self-love activities, I decided to try out some dance classes. Since trying new things has become a staple of my grief journey, I wanted to do dance styles I haven’t tried before, or taken classes for. I ended up doing a total of six different dance styles over the course of four classes.

  1. Salsa & Bachata

  2. Ballet & Contemporary 

  3. Aerial Dance

  4. Pole Dance 

Salsa & Bachata

In my Grief & Dating blog post, I mentioned that you should be a wing-person for yourself. You should plan self-love dates that also allow you to meet potential singles, while doing something you already love. Attending 18 Social’s Salsa and Bachata Night was just that for me. I love Latin dance styles, but I've never attended an actual ballroom dance class. When I saw that Los Angeles Fun Events, an Instagram account that posts fun things for singles to do around LA, was promoting this salsa and bachata night hosted by Dancer University, I knew I had to go! 

It was so much fun! The event was held in a hotel in Downtown with a beautiful skyline view. The night started with a salsa and bachata lesson, then the dance floor was open for everyone to bust out the moves they just learned, or watch the professionals tear up the dance floor. I loved how they structured the class. The leads were in the outer circle and rotated, while the followers stayed put in the inner circle. So, you got to meet and dance with different partners. Most of the leads were guys, so it was definitely the perfect setting to mix and mingle while having fun learning new dance steps. 

I’ll be honest, I’m not used to being lead. lol So that was a unique experience, especially since each guy had his own style of learning the dance moves. Some were more stiff, aiming for perfection, while others embarrassed the chaos and laughed off our mistakes. Some were beginners, like me, and others knew what they were doing. Guys from class asked me to dance during the free dance portion of the night, and watching the professionals dance the night away was inspiring. Overall, it was so much fun! I made some new girl friends while ordering margaritas. I got to be spun around the dance floor, and impressed my partners with my mastery of the body wave. To my surprise, my wing-woman plan worked! Before the night was over, I exchanged contact info with a cutie!  

Ballet & Contemporary 

Though I’ve tried ballet before, I was never any good at it. Sure, I could do pirouettes and battements, but the structure and control you need to resemble a real ballerina, I just didn’t have. And while I love contemporary, I never got to learn this style while in school. The closest we got was Lyrical. All this to say, I was excited to take the Beginner Ballet Contemporary/Modern Dance class at The Barboza Method. We started class at the barre and ended it learning a floor-work combination. I felt like one of the students in Dance Academy (My favorite Australian show about ballet dancers and all their adolescent drama!) Like salsa and bachata, the goal was to have fun. ‘Cause honeyyy the way my 29-year old bones were cracking, and my core was spasming, I definitely won’t be changing career paths anytime soon. Lol The floor-work was my favorite part of class. Contemporary is definitely where I shine out of the two. Taking this class was also a “healing your inner child” moment for me. It was so much fun to be a ballerina for the morning, and I felt like a So You Think You Can Dance contestant while learning Contemporary. SYTYCD was also one of the shows I would watch every week with my mom. We even got tickets to their touring shows, so it was a lot of fun pretending to be one of those dancers.  

Aerial Dance

I have found my calling! Lol I’m being dramatic, but I LOVED learning to aerial dance with the hammocks! I took the Aerial Dance Intro class at D&A Flying Yoga, and had SO much fun! Not only was it a full body workout, but I got to feel so light and free up in the air. It’s a feeling I’ve missed. Class started with some conditioning with the hammocks, then our instructor taught us a cute dance combination. This class gave me a great lesson in how to trust. So many times I was hesitant to let go of the hammock, or fully extend in my backbends, but the instructor told us to trust that the hammock’s got you. It wouldn’t let me fall. Once I fully embraced trusting in this hammock, that’s when the dance moves started to flow and look beautiful.

This was also a theme in salsa. The instructors told us to let the leaders lead. Again, something I wasn’t used to. (I’m an independent woman who don’t need no man! lol) But the dance doesn’t flow, or work when two people try to lead. Sometimes it’s ok to take a break from leading and figuring everything out yourself. Sometimes you don’t have to support yourself alone. You can trust that your support system’s got you. With some help, you can soar!

Pole Dance 

Lastly, a girl just had to attempt pole dancing. Rent is too high in LA, and these skills may come in handy. (LOL CHILL I’M JOKING!) Haha but I have always wanted to try pole because it’s honestly so impressive. The upper body strength you need to get up there is insane. Plus, it’s always fun to get in touch with your sultry side. This was my first ever Intro to Pole class at BeSpun Pole Dance, but it’s a mix of newbies like me, and skilled students who just prefer a chill, beginner class. Confidence and “not giving a d*mn” is how I survived this class. I was the only first-time pole dancer there, and if I do say so myself, I held my own out there! Despite boxing for a year, my upper body strength still isn’t that strong, but I did manage to learn a spin! After the instructor taught us some moves as a class, it was time for us to do a freestyle with what we learned. A girl was scared, not gonna lie, but I used all the skills I gained from my past self-love dates and blog posts. I let go of aiming for perfection, and allowed myself to be a beginner. I let go of fear to try something new, and out of my comfort zone. I just had fun and lived in the moment!

I can confidently say trying all these dance classes did in fact boost my mood, fight depression and improve my overall well-being. I slipped back into my grief bubble after my grandpa died, but attending these classes helped me get back to myself. Now, you may be asking yourself, “How did you afford all these classes on a budget?” Y’all know I got you! I knew that at the beginning of the year, when New Year resolutions are fresh, gyms and studios like to give out membership free trials. Class Pass had a free month trial promotion, so I got to do all those classes for free! Salsa and bachata was its own event, but that class was only $12. So everything was Budget Baddie approved! 

If you’re local to Los Angeles, I highly recommend you try some of these classes out. They were all so much fun! For those who live elsewhere, see if you have a local events page/Instagram that posts fun things to try in your city. Also, look out for Class Pass promotions! I think they normally have 2-week free trials! I’ve always loved to dance, so this was a perfect way to help me get moving and create a better moment for myself. I think everyone could benefit from trying a dance class, but feel free to find what works for you! Try something that gets you moving and keeps you in the moment. And don't forget to have fun! 

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1 commentaire

Aruth Samuels
Aruth Samuels
18 mars

Beautiful, I love the way you find your help in healthy activities. Another beautiful read.♥️

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