The Power of Dance to Heal Your Grief


When grief deadens your shoulders with its weight there is one thing guaranteed to shift something, within and without and that is movement. Movement is motion, it propels us somewhere and it has flow, it has life.

If that movement is channelled into a purposeful activity the benefits are multiplied. Particularly during times of extreme stress such as when we are grieving, that movement has the ability to release the knots of tightness stuck in our grooves, and give the hurt captured in our hearts a way to escape.

There are many types of movement beneficial to our health and wellbeing. We can walk, run, cycle, swim, surf, go to a yoga class or do tai chi in the park. The options are endless and varied. Then there is dancing.

The ability to dance is freedom in motion. There can be gentleness, there can be wildness. Whether we crank it up alone in our lounge room or dance with others. Whether we express ourselves through free movement or whether we dance to set steps we are energising ourselves from within. We are getting into the rhythm of the music and letting ourselves forget for a time just how painful the loss of a loved one is. We are escaping and investing in the power of dance to heal our weary hearts and our aching bodies. We are transporting ourselves to that place where music and movement combine into a making a magic all its own, all our own.

I’ve tried many different forms of dance, but there remains one that I return to again and again. Wu Tao is a harmonious dance enriching the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of myself. It touches into each one giving me the opportunity to bring energy and flow into, not only my body, but my life. Through the dances of air, water, wood and fire I release my grief and dance my joy. I let go of my past and be present to my future. I ignite the flame of promise and possibility and in the earth dance I find myself at home at last and bring peace into my heart. I emerge balanced and peaceful.

Wu Tao has been described as:

“A dance-based therapy that balances and harmonises the flow of Qi (life-force energy in the body). It has its foundations in Oriental Medicine, and similar to Tai Chi and Qi Gong it is a system of healing, with a holistic philosophy and practice, that restores balance to the person on all levels.” ¬©Wu Tao:The Dancing Way.

I feel so very lucky that Wu Tao is so readily available in my region of Western Australia, because it really does enhance my life in so many ways. Developed by Michelle Locke, a West Australian dancer and therapist in 2001, the appeal of Wu Tao is now growing worldwide. When I share how wonderful it is with you now, there is a very real chance it has or will be coming your way. So many people are recognising the benefits and the enjoyment of the dance that it’s reach is growing to many regions throughout the world, including an upcoming tour of the United States during November. All the details can be found at Wu Tao: The Dancing Way.

Whatever form of dance you decide, let your flow start and take you into the place where music and movement merge into one.

“The journey between who you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.” ~ Barbara De Angelis

Leave a Reply