“Making All Movement Dance”

John Diamond, M.D.

Extract from the book 
Creativity and Beyond: The Diamond Reports, Vol. 3


Michael is a professional dancer. I asked him to dance, and when I examined him he believed at a deep level that he was dancing. Then I asked him to walk. This time he believed that he was walking, but not that he was dancing. Next I asked him to walk as if he were dancing, and he now believed that he was dancing, but it was an exaggerated, theatrical walk. It was really a stage walk, rather than his usual walk instilled with the spirit of dance.

I showed him how any activity can be what we know of as dance. I threw a book on the floor, and that was all I was doing. Then I threw another one, but this time I was dancing. Michael could not see any difference in the act, because the difference lay not in the acts themselves, but rather in my attitude to the acts.

I showed him how it is easier to make the act a dance if the direction is upwards. For example, I asked him to put some books on the floor. He did not believe that this was dancing. When I asked him to lift them up and put them on a table, this now was dancing.

Upward movement encourages dance, just as upward movement transmutes speech into music. It is the very start of the lilt, just as the voice starts to rise. I like to compare this upwardness to an airplane about to take off, when at the moment of lift, the wheels are just about to lose contact with the ground.

Now any activity Michael did was dance. He just had to think “up” with it, even when moving down. Most would not be able to see the difference in his actions. It seemed as if he was “just” walking, but Michael believed at a deep level that he was dancing. His movement was blessed with the spirit.