Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
~ Voltaire

We asked several dancers why they dance, and we have the privilege of sharing their answers with you below. We hope you find their answers as inspiring as we do.

Dance is both internal and external. Internally, it is one of the best ways to be present. Whether on a crowded dance floor or alone in the studio, dance affords me the opportunity to quiet my mind, experience the pleasure of movement, and the effervescent joy that can accompany it. Externally, it’s about the voice. Our amazing belly dance community encourages anyone who feels they have a voice to stand up and share it through movement. I’ve seen some really amazing statements from people who might not otherwise have a medium. And so we provide for our community.
~Kalila Indivar, Minneapolis, MN, Director of Smiling Lune

I dance in the style in which I was “raised” because the movement speaks to me, thus I communicate through dance to express essential emotions with music-related movement. I dance to purge difficulties of our human life, and to relieve myself of the pettiness of the hour. After so long, I cannot but dance.
~Cassandra, Minneapolis, MN, Performer, Director, and Choreographer of Jawaahir Dance Company/The Cassandra School

I dance because dance is in my soul and has been since I can remember. It calms my spirit and strengthens my body.
~Terri Allred, Rochester, MN, teacher and owner at Rochester International Dance Studio

Looking for more inspiration? Terri has edited a fabulous book entitled I Bellydance Because. We recommend checking it out.

I dance for the primary purpose of self expression of music I enjoy. Developing a concept through the music, costuming and movement is what drives me to work through pieces ultimately climaxing when performed on the stage. This is my final step to expressing what the music has drawn out for me and how to express that to my audience.
~Lesley Inman, Twin Cities, MN, Solo performer

Why do I dance? I feel like this answer is a really simplistic, but I dance because I love to. It gives me joy. It is my bliss. I love the music I dance to, it makes me want to express what I hear through my movements and my expression. I love to share that with people by performing teaching and choreographing.
~Aliyah Sahar, Twin Cities, MN, Soloist, teacher, dancer, and director

We spend so much time sitting still. Dance is a way to connect the internal to the external. It’s so freeing to let my body go where it wants, especially with a group of women. That’s empowering.
~Violet Kind, Mankato, MN, Director of Satori Violet Dance Company

I dance to connect: with a little piece of history and culture, with unique forms of music and movement, with others who share in the dance. I love the way it’s all woven together: the history, culture, music. It’s unique to any other form of dance that I’ve done before and I love it!
~Aremi, Grand Forks, ND, Instructor, Performer and Events Coordinator with the Lovely Dozen

Dance to me is the highest, truest form of expression. It’s how I communicate an emotion, a feeling, raw energy. It is my therapy, how I work through decisions, dealing with situations. I dance because I have to. My body, mind & soul demands it. Dance is my prayer, meditation, my spiritual experience. 🙂
~AnaKarina, Atlanta, GA, Artist

I dance for the love of dance. I dance for the love of music. I dance for friendship. I dance for myself. I dance because I don’t know another way to feel how I do when I dance.
~Layla, Minneapolis, MN, Dancer with Smiling Lune

I dance because I just love to feel the music through movement. I am enlivened in the process. Dance allows me to express myself beyond words.
~Bon Joony, Minneapolis, MN, Dancer with Smiling Lune and Khazanah

More than any other activity, dancing lifts me away from daily concerns to a place of freedom: freedom to express, to play, to strive, to reach for new ways of being. I dance to feel more alive!
~Saffron, Minneapolis, MN, Dancer with Smiling Lune

The reason I dance is to find that inner calm that finds me ever now and again.
~Mama Via, Minneapolis, MN, Dancer with Smiling Lune