THE STORY BEHIND DANCE4HEALTH: THE AFRICAN APPROACH TO FITNESS BY UK-BASED GOSPEL ARTIST AMAZIN`
Literally, I danced to heal. What do I mean? I began Dance4Health at a time when I weighed 110 kg but I have joyfully progressed to 88 kg, exceeding my initial target and still going.
Sometime in 2013, I had some mind threatening experience, too painful to comprehend. I was accused, abused, mocked, misunderstood, rejected, spat on, lost friends and then job. It was like Armageddon for me. I saw no way out of that situation.
One afternoon, I sat hopeless on the couch, reliving and nursing the memories of my pain in tears when I stumbled onto some traditional Ogene music. Our Enugu cultural music which my dad used to play when I was a little girl. That tune, took me back home to my parents and I felt that little girl emerging from obscurity. I remembered dancing to this kind of music as a young girl and of course, I was a great dancer.
So, I picked up my heavy self as I hummed along my favourite Ubo Amodu tune. I moved gently, alongside the serene Oja, ùdù & Ogene beats and started exercising and dancing with joy to the music, as I felt the drifting away of those thoughts. I was so lost in my world that I did not respond to my daughter when she returned from school.
Undisturbingly, she picked up my phone to record my dance as a proof that she came back from school early. When I eventually came around, she showed me the recorded video clip.
“Mummy, she said, I recorded you while you danced. I thought I should, cos’ I’ve never seen you dance that way. See," she said, as she handed the phone to me.
“So sorry baby, I saw you come in but couldn’t respond to you” I said. “It’s ok mama, I understand” she responded. “Oh wow”. I exclaimed.
I wept as I watched the clip. I liked the dance video, so, I shared it on my Facebook network.
To my dismay, the reactions I received were so shocking. I wasn’t prepared at all. Close friends wondered, some felt something had gone wrong somewhere, whilst others rebuked and warned me not to dance to traditional music because I was a music minister.
Surprisingly, even within our gospel circle, words trickled in and out. It became apparent that the beauty and sound of our traditional musical instruments have been attributed to voodoo, fetish priests, evil tradition and masquerades but I vehemently refuted their philosophies and stood by my healing process.
However, few days later, my phone was clogged with messages from my friends asking if I was the one dancing. Alas! The video had gone viral. I received thousands of messages requesting more videos and traditional songs. Even, a fellow music minister sent a very encouraging message and suggested a name for the movement.
Many others requested dance classes to be set up for both adults and children to exercise whilst sustaining our Igbo cultural dance. But in all of these, no one understands the story behind the routines, but I kept rolling out more videos as my healing progressed.
One thing about nature is this, it does not abhor vacuum. Something else covers up, good or bad; To avoid resentment, bitterness, hate, revenge, and evil taking over my mind, I danced. When I felt pain and dark clouds of uncertainty, hovering around me, I danced. When my mind resumes rehearsing my painful experiences, I danced. When I felt lonely and alone, I danced.
To ensure I do not cross over the thoughts of my prevailing circumstance, I danced. When I remembered the pain of lost relationships, I danced. The dance routines helped me as I encouraged others with my new-found health improvement approach. I must say, my healing process was speedy. It wasn’t long before other African artists began rolling out great tunes produced with our forgotten traditional instruments and beats.
Videos were sent to me, showing the gathering of young men and women at the great Okpara square in Enugu with traditional the dance group playing as they ran around the stadium, numerous times. What felt like a breakdown, began a great revolution in dance-exercise history. The pain of one person began a great thing.
Many times in the past, I paid huge amounts of money towards gym memberships but never got around attending. Whenever I did attend, I did so grudgingly and would come home without losing a drop of sweat.
Insane …! Why do something you don’t enjoy? Exercising is a game involving all senses. You feel every bit of your movements. Why not flow gracefully whilst doing so. Everyone loved my routines and requested this to be made available in video formats. So, here you go. With all that, Dance4Health was born.
Dance4Health is a great commission, given by God to make a difference. It is a place of truth, where worried are subdued and souls calmed, roaring waters, turbulence and storms are stilled. Dance4Health is here to bring healing – You are made whole as you dance.
This is not a showcase of dance routines but a commission and a movement that brings health in it’s entity through spiritually filled music. It also aids total healing to the oppressed, depressed, suppressed, scared, anxious, let down, stepped on, disturbed, people who can’t see their way out, hear voices but can’t behold faces, fear the light and can’t step out of the door.
Dance4Health was born, to help people face their fears head on, by God. To step into light because God is light, and His light is the light of men and shine in darkness and darkness cannot comprehend it.
I have introduced my daughter into our traditional kind of dance and taught her how to dance too. This also has encouraged an awesome mother & daughter bonding between us, has aided the transference and understanding of our Igbo culture and she has been amazing.
My dance routines are here to stay and will compel you to joyfully keep fit. Totally different from every other fitness videos you’ve seen. See yourself dancing your way to good health, mind, body and soul. We intent to produce more spiritual songs that will transmit healing via its waves to the listener, dancer and passer-by. Let the hearer and watcher, possess the grace to prophesy healing over themselves, body, soul and spirit. To turn their fears, pain, obscurity into steps of testimonies.
A free soul is a free spirit – totally free. If you engage in Dance4Health, you are guaranteed freedom, fun, overflowing joy, great results and of course, sweating.
Another great aspect of my Dance4Health is that you can do it within the confines of your home and comfort of your pyjamas. Yes ... you don’t have to wear your trainers or tracksuits to Dance4Health. All you need to do is, follow my initial dance routine which are quite simple and basic and then feel free to add your steps as we go on. Just ensure you are comfortable.
It’s about your health, so, all that is required is you. And be sure to be ok in whatever you will wear. And don’t forget your smile too Come in, let’s Dance4Health in style. Please see videos for some easy routines for you to rock. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Thank me later.
Lord, I am Your vessel. Make me an instrument of peace Where there is pain, let joy flood in through me Where there is blindness, I’ll be the sight Where there are wounds, use me to bring healing Where there is darkness, let your light shine through me Yes Lord, I am Your vessel.
I appreciate Fauntee for proofreading...she’s amazing.