Paul and Carolyn Zeiger usually start off my individual yoga session with “What kind of exercising have you done lately?” I proudly say that I’ve danced eight times in the past seven days. Their follow-up question is “How does that affect your body?” Usually I list my physical complaints of stiffness, soreness, shakiness and slowness. Today I simply respond with “It makes me happy.”
I haven’t done a research study on the relationship between dancing and happiness. I can’t scientifically verify it, nor do I care to do so. But it’s something I just intuitively KNOW about myself that when I’m dancing, I’m happy.
It’s not only dancing with the Rockyettes that makes me happy, it’s everything that goes along with the dancing. It’s the satisfaction of learning a new dance routine. It’s the challenge in remembering the sequence of dance steps. It’s the camaraderie with the other dancers. It’s wearing the glittery costumes. It’s the thrill of performing in front of an audience, the enjoyment seen in their faces and the appreciation shown in their applause. But of utmost importance, it’s the opportunity to get away from Parkinson’s and feel normal once again.
Dancing is what makes life, even with Parkinson’s, worth living.