You Should Be Dancing

Move your body to uniquely express, relieve stress and feel your best

Photo credit: Drew Collins

A few weeks ago, I was grooving with joy to some tunes along the river where people were doing their usual walking or jogging routines. Some passersby didn’t notice; others kept their imaginary NYC blinders on; a few made eye contact and smiled, perhaps reminding them they need to have a little fun themselves. And then there was the woman who asked me what kind of exercise I was doing. I simply replied, “Dancing.”

Puzzled, she looked at me again and said, “Just dancing?” and I answered, “Yup, just doing my thing!” She was pleasantly intrigued and amused, but as I mention in my essay “Shake Your Groove Thing,” some people can’t conceive of the fact that I was not doing some sort of learned program or following an instructor. For me, moving my body in a way it wants to, to music I love and feels good deep in my bones, is how I feel alive and free. It’s also the best stress-busting mood-lifter you can find, and it doesn’t cost a thing!

Dance has always been something I’ve loved; it makes me feel most connected to myself and allows me to express whatever energy and music is flowing through me. (I was also a choreographer when younger, which is a different, but related expression.) Especially over the past couple of years (sans in-person Zumba or Nia classes, or live music performances), I’ve taken more and more to dancing around my apartment as well as outside in the park or by the river, or anywhere the spirit moves me! It’s been necessary for my mental, emotional and physical well-being and has helped me to move through and release the big energies and shifts we’ve been experiencing.

During such transformative, extraordinary times, with so much happening on so many levels — all being amplified and aggregated by our technology — it’s easy to lose yourself and feel drowned out by all the “noise” around you clamoring for your attention to tell you what to think or do, who to love or hate, or what to watch or buy. But it’s more important than ever that you take the time to shut off the outside world and tune into your own voice, and listen to what wants to be expressed — whether that’s through a career, hobby, relationship, or yes, even just your body.

For related thoughts on this topic, read my essay Shake Your Groove Thing.

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 14 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women over the past decade improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives. Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.

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All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

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kristina leonardi

Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.