Chell, a teacher of special needs children, embraces midlife with strength, energy and enthusiasm. Several years ago, during a very stressful and sad time of her life, she encountered Wu Tao (The Dancing Way). Chell knew instinctively this was what she needed and quickly found herself a teacher and a class.
Her instinct was correct.
As soon as she began Wu Tao, Chell found its gentle, mindful movements stretched her physically, soothed her emotionally and provided the nurturing support she needed.
Wu Tao is described as “A life dance medicine for our times” and, after reading Chell’s description of its uplifting benefits, I can see why.
Chell kindly agreed to write about her Wu Tao experience for Midlifexpress.
I love to dance and move to music. Wu Tao, especially, helps me feel relaxed and energized at the same time.
Wu Tao is a series of individual dances that balance the Qi flow – which is our body’s life-force energy. Michelle Locke – a Western Australian ballet dancer and therapist – choreographed them. They’re easy to learn and can be done by almost anyone. A friend who has mobility problems is able to participate by modifying the dances where necessary. In any case, you’re talked through the movements, so you don’t have to think or remember. You don’t even need any dance experience.
A Wu Tao class is about an hour long and consists of five dances, each of which corresponds to one of the following elements: water, earth, fire, air and wood. Each dance (and its element) is designed to stimulate the corresponding meridians (the paths through which Qi energy flows). For instance, the water dance stimulates the bladder and kidney meridians.
Each dance also has an associated color and emotion. For example, the air dance’s emotion is grief and its color is white.
The dances have a specific order. The air dance of grief is first, followed by the water dance of fear. The wood dance of anger comes next and the fire dance of joy follows. The earth dance of gratitude is performed last.
Wu Tao is much more than physical exercise and I have found it to be very emotionally healing; I’m always left with a sense of peace and calm and a clear mind.
Wu Tao is timeless. It’s something I hope to be doing when I’m a hundred. I love the classes and dancing in a small group together.