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I’ve been dancing all my life. Without realizing it, dance during my childhood years was an emotional salve for a lot of painful and uncomfortable experiences. Shyness in groups, hiding for fear of being seen, self-induced perfectionism.

When I showed up at the dance studio every day after school, all my fear, vulnerability and pain came out through the movement, the music, the passion and drive of my heart. I didn’t have to talk about my struggles, or fix things or figure it out. I barely understood what I was going through. But I did have raw emotions and luckily, dance gave me a way to process the natural and real feelings that coursed through my being. Instead of getting stuck in a place of fear or worry, the movement brought in the light, the joy, the comfort.


My heart beats, the music takes me, the wood floor under my feet. I sweat, I focus, I move. I dance, I get lost inside in the most satisfying way. I am ok. I am here. I will be ok.
We hold emotion, stress, trauma, hurt, anger, fear, worry in our bodies. Our shoulders and back tense up, our hips ache, we have chronic ailments and pain. We get sick.

If you don’t let emotions live, they will never die.

This is why dance is an integral part of my INsideOUT workshops; dance helps us to release emotion, simple annoyances, past stories. As we connect to any pain, discomfort or disturbance that is present for us, we use dance to give voice to those feelings, and as we express, we release. Just as an animal in nature “shakes” off the energy of a fight or flight moment, we humans need a way to let go, to release these strong moments from our bodies. And as we do, we make room for new information, new ways of seeing things. When we dance, our mind quiets and we get in touch with that inner voice inside, that inner guidance that has messages, wisdom, clarity and is the map to real peace and happiness.

Dance is a powerful impulse and you need no training or technique to receive it’s benefits.

Dance . . .

Deepens your breath and inner awareness
Gets you grounded in your body
Opens up the pathways to increased insight and clarity
Quiets the mind chatter
Improves strength and flexibility
Warms the body and ups your heart rate
Helps you feel courageous and free
Opens your heart

Dance is a gateway to freedom, a gateway to what we want in life. It dissolves fears, transcends boundaries, and brings us closer to our ourselves and each other. I am very thankful to have dance in my life and to share it with others as a powerful source of healing and comfort.

For a simple, guided exercise, and to get a taste of my INsideOUT class, you can sign up here. It’s FREE!

— Tara Nicole Hughes

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