Why Dance Matters (or at least why it mattered at 8pm last Thursday night)


I've been doing a whole lot of stalling this week on giving my two cents for the Why Dance Matters campaign.  The lovely Nichelle over at Dance Advantage launched this initiative a few years ago and I love it for both its simplicity and its impact.


The task is simple…

To write, blog, pin, tweet:


Why does dance matter?


It's not that I don't think dance matters, obviously, but my thoughts have been so pre-occupied of late by the economics of dance that I sometimes question whether it matters enough.


And then I happened to be running the light board for Columbia College's annual Dance/Movement Therapy concert.  While much of the evening consisted of the emo-lyrical dance and metaphors of healing that I would expect out of a concert put on by dance/movement therapists to-be, there was also this:


A joyful young man and his (assumed) counselor, both dressed in Keshet t-shirts and jeans, sat in chairs far downstage and quite literally rocked out a chair dance to the Glee cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love".  Here's the original to accompany your reading of the rest of this post…



The dance was simple but not sympathetic.  It was rehearsed, exuberant, and completely stole the show.  I realized the impact that dance had and was having on this young man's life, and the joy with which he performed was super contagious.  


And in that moment, as tears puddled in my eyes, dance mattered.


It TOTALLY mattered.




Author: Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter for NPR affiliate station WGLT and freelance arts and culture critic, primarily reviewing dance for the Chicago Tribune. Lauren enjoys cooking, cycling and attempting to grow things in her backyard. She lives in central Illinois.