“I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance.” -Friederich Nietzsche
“Are we human? Are we dancing?” ~The Killers
It just makes sense. When we dance, nothing is hidden. We feel. We love. We connect. We reflect. We share joy. We find our authentic inner impulses. We see ourselves and others transparently. We uplevel our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual being – all at the same time.
From the very beginning I have danced. I have listened with my body to the shape and texture of nature and the unseen, to archetypal energies, and to the shadow play of the human psyche. At the age of 13, I began locking myself into the wrestling room at my High School to find myself and God. I danced as an act of self-preservation, of creation, of communication and of communion. I created innumerable dances about spiritual states beyond name or form, about war and peace, and about the play of human relations.
I have danced because it was in me to do so – the most natural and unavoidable expression of my soul. I have danced because it is a listener’s path: away to follow and a way to lead. For me, dance is a medicine, an alchemical practice that invites everything as the raw material and opportunity to create more life. Through dance, I have a direct and personal conversation with with Creator and Creation. And, I have a medium through which to conveyed this conversation as an offering to the world. Through dance I co-create sacred community and collaborative leadership. I transform and transmute the raw material of my emotions into art and self leadership. With and through dance, I find the way to move forward in my life and to help others do the same.
Despite this amazing list of benefits, I have doubted the dance as a vehicle. I have doubted its value and legitimacy as a way to “spend my time”, give my service and shape my life. Why? Because “the dancer” is not the image we are taught to hold for leadership or power. Like most of us, I was taught to see the image of power in suits, stats and definable results. In these terms, dance is “a luxury,” or “a girl’s thing,” or “a waste of time.” As a career path, it is anything other than the effective, efficient, financially conservative pathway to success that was hoped of me as a promising young person. In reality, dancing together has been a central practice for generating resonance and collectivized prayer in tribal communities for untold ages. And, the truth, beauty and goodness it empowers are the very foundation for all that is valuable to a human life.
Thankfully, my soul’s stubborn power was stronger than these cultural stories. The dance won, and has always been central to my life. Sharing and spreading the practice of Dancing Freedom is at the heart of my sacred leadership. It is a practice of prayer and presence that encircles and defines my personal conversation with god and my ministry in community. Though my leadership mission has many faces other than dance, moving together is the centerless center at the middle of my altar – the Tao manifest as a practice unfolding in time. My business, Dancing Freedom, supports people in personal transformation, leadership development and community building. It works. Dance is the place I, and many others, go to resource truth.
 Like many dancers of spirit (Isadora Duncan among them), my dancing emerged independent of any conscious cultural, ancestral or soul-level influences. I now see it as the outcome of many, many past lives combined with a soul calling to know and embody the soul, the divine and all of life in the most practical, immediate of ways. And, I do not know if my blood ancestors danced. But, I do know that my dancing came from a level of listening (to myself and to the collective) quite beyond myself. Like the Ghost Dance, but on a smaller level, my own path expresses the way in which the dance can heal culture and a people.
Ps. To dance with Samantha, join her EVERY MONDAY NIGHT at 8pm at Western Sky Studio for Dancing Freedom. Address: 2525 8th Street, Berkeley. Or, join one the Dancing Freedom Facilitator Training Program, and bring the dance more deeply into your community or organization.