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Why we feel better after dancing

June 23, 2017 at 6:20 PM EDT
For Choreographer Alonzo King of Alonzo King Lines Ballet, discovering dance made “the outer world dim.” King explains in a conversation at the Aspen Institute’s Spotlight Health conference how dance transformed his life and how it contributes to the balancing act of health.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We want to introduce you to Alonzo King, a noted choreographer who believes dance improves our spirits, and that in turn has a direct effect on our health.

Take a look.

ALONZO KING, Choreographer: My name is Alonzo King. I’m the artistic director of Alonzo King LINES Ballet. It’s a San Francisco-based international touring ballet company.

We were invited to the Health Festival here at Aspen, and I brought four dancers from the company to do a demonstration and talk about how health and art are intertwined.

My mother took dancing at university. And when I was a kid, she would show me things, and I had a blast with intimacy with my mom. Plus, I loved moving, so I never stopped.

There is a triumvirate of body/mind/soul that is in a balancing act for health. If something is imbalanced, then it’s with — it’s dis-eased.

The performance that we do here on Friday is largely a lecture demonstration, displaying how dance is really ideas, that it’s thought made visible, in the same way that music is thought made audible.

Our hope is that the mind will be stirred and the heart will be moved. And may argue with it. You want them to hear it and to have some response to it.

When I first began dancing, I had no idea that it was a profession. I just knew that it was an experience that made the outer world dim. And I felt larger and euphoric. And I realized that, when you have that experience inside yourself, you know that every human being has that potential for that experience.

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