We invited participants in our dance therapy group to write about their experience. Thanks to their openness and sincerity, you can enjoy their sharing in this blogpost. Don’t hesitate to reach out if something here resonates with you.
Hi there, tell us about you!
Hi! My name is Robert (alias), 31 years old. I’m not an expat, have lived my entire life in the Netherlands. I am the co-owner of a motion design company in Breda. I like to live by my own rules and being creative on my own terms is a big part of that.
How did you know about our dance therapy group?
I just googled “dance therapy Rotterdam” and found the Expat Wellbeing website. All the information and courses that were being offered really attracted me and I decided to leave a message behind.
And, what attracted you to join the group?
About a year ago I had the idea in my head that I wanted to learn how to dance. I felt I was lacking bodily awareness. I’m not really the sort of person that goes out and dances. All my friends were dancing, except for me. I felt too shy and didn’t really know where to start. I saw it as a challenge waiting to be accepted.
These were my initial motivations, but that started to change once I joined the Expat Wellbeing dance therapy group. My new motivations became much more deeper.
Anything that was holding you back? What turned your decision around?
At first I was really scared and just not certain if I had the guts to join up. But my introductory phone call with Irene helped a lot. I felt immediately safe, respected and through her words gained the courage to take the first step. Sometimes you just need a little push.
What do you say we do in the sessions?
We learn to connect to our bodies. To our emotions and feelings. A lot can be found within when you learn to be present. Anger, sadness, stress, tiredness, etc. etc. It’s easy to ignore these emotions in daily life, and to just keep going. But it will catch up to you, and not always in a good way.
That’s why a main theme in the sessions are about self-compassion. It’s a great way to figure out what it is that you truly need.
A lot can be found within when you learn to be present. Anger, sadness, stress, tiredness, etc. etc. It’s easy to ignore these emotions in daily life, and to just keep going. But it will catch up to you, and not always in a good way.
Is there one fun/interesting/unexpected/intriguing/breakthrough moment that you’re willing to share?
I’ve had several!
A big one for me was to stop *thinking* about the movements I wanted to make, but to instinctively follow whatever came up naturally.
To learn not to care what other people think of my movements in general.
To be able to zone into my bottled up anger and to learn to release it in a controlled, safe environment.
The theme is self-compassion. What is your personal meaning of this?
To be kind toward myself. To be present. To learn to recognise what it is that I truly need and then allowing myself to receive it.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to self-compassion?
My main struggle is that I forget that I can apply it throughout the day. I am aware of it during the lessons, but usually forget about it the next day. It can be hard to break the pattern you are most used to. But all it takes is practice, practice, practice.
What’s the most important positive outcome you experienced as a result of attending the sessions?
For me it’s about how nice it is to go to the lessons. Usually when I first get there I’m still filled with pent up energy, stress and sometimes anxiety and depressive feelings. But having this space where you can truly let go, take a deep breath, let out a long sigh, it really helps.
It’s like a challenging mini vacation that both releases tension and stress, but also gives me tools to better combat these stressors through self-compassion. It’s win win.
What do you wish to tell people who are still hesitating whether they should go for this or not?
Just do it. You will thank yourself later.
What’s next for you?
I’m gonna stick for a while with these lessons. I still have lot’s to learn but am sure, with the help of Irene and other members of the group, we will get there!
We thank Robert for sharing his experience & wish him feel even more present in discovering his spontaneity.
Curious to know more about our dance therapy program?
Contact us and we’ll get back to you soon!