Anna Halprin has invested the majority of her 97 years in healing people through dance, herself included. When she was in her early 40’s she was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and radiation stopped the first wave, but when the cancer returned she realized she would have to try something different. She thanked the physician for having “cured” her but now she would have to launch herself on the journey to be “healed.”
Relying on traditional wisdom she turned to music and movement and began to dance through the dark parts of her psyche. 45 years later she is still going strong. Just as important, she committed herself to sharing this healing path with thousands of others over the years, helping to heal conditions ranging from AIDS to mental illness to muscular degeneration.
Anna would be the first to admit that she is not a stand-alone healer. It is the power of dance in community that is the real healing energy. Dance is a catalyst because it offers our bodies the opportunity to express themselves without ego blocks and to invite loving attention by the psyche. This attending to self with love and acceptance is the starting point of all healing.
Further, this healing dynamic is deepened and intensified when encased within a supportive community. People are not stand alone. We are social creatures. We are defined, strengthened, nurtured, supported, encouraged by community. We thrive within community. We die without it.
I am delighted with the experience of community that we have cultivated at Naked Cafe on Monday nights. It has been nurturing, sustaining and healing for me and others as well. As long as we continue to hold each other in a loving embrace, figuratively and literally, it will continue to be so.