How Does Dance Enhance Your Life?

Jump for joy- it’s time for a contest!

Kids loving dance

So in case you didn’t know, I dance for a living. Not just through classes and workshops, but as a performer, choreographer, company director and show producer.

For me, dance allows me to create something tangible- choreography, movement, stories and pictures- from what was once a thought or idea in my head. That’s pretty freakin’ awesome. It’s also a way to de-stress, exhale, stay grounded and remember that life is truly worth living.



Lastly, I totally love to share my artistic passion with people like you. It brings a smile to my face when I bring a smile to yours. Seeing the joy dance can bring in a person is completely inspiring, and helps connect us all to something bigger.

That’s what I believe. 🙂

What do you believe? How does dance enhance YOUR life?

To celebrate dance (and my birthday March 12th hint hint) I’m going to give you the chance to win free dance classes. On Friday March 21, I’ll select three people at random who leave a reply below answering this question:

“How Does Dance Enhance YOUR Life?”
Your answer should be 1-2 paragraphs, no more than 100 words.


What’s the prize? One FREE Adult Drop In Pass, worth $77. Good for four classes anytime. The pass expires June 29.

Leave a reply below with your answer. Tell your friends to answer also, maybe they’ll share the pass with you if they win?

I’ll post the three winners on this blog, Friday March 21st. Make sure you post your answer anytime before then. Good luck!

– SB

Published by ShawnByfield

Shawn Byfield is a certified public speaker, expert dance coach and entrepreneur. A National authority in dance and veteran in entertainment, film and fashion. Byfield is a DORA AWARD winning choreographer, GEMINI AWARD nominee, and 2x BLACK CANADIANS AWARD nominee. Shawn Byfield loves to travel nationally as an inspiring mentor, adjudicator, public speaker and choreographer.

23 thoughts on “How Does Dance Enhance Your Life?

  1. dancing is part of something you’ve got to believe in. , i’ve been believing in that. i learn and learn more steps to follow. , im still good at it, and i will always be! 🙂

  2. For years I wanted to learn dance. I believed it was something I could do, but didn’t have the courage to try until I came across Shawn’s classes in January ’08. Since then, dance has changed my life! How? Let me first preface this by admitting that I’m an auditor; probably the antithesis of dancer. With the introduction of dance: I smile a lot more, walk a bit taller, breathe a little deeper, stress a little less, move a little freer, and live a little happier. Also, it’s super-fun!

    To learn and interpret choreography, to express oneself through music and movement — To truly a gift.

  3. Happy Birthday Shawn 🙂 and Happy Birthday to all the Pisces (my B-day was on the 16th) . . .

    Dance saved my life . . . it gave me an answer to the things that be . . . and it has given me a purpose and much, much more.

    Why you may ask?

    Dance is life . . . it’s the energy of life . . . it utilizes and is all of your senses interacting . . . it is introverted and extraverted, inter-changing and connected at the same time (it’s the envelopment of two completed opposites and the coming together of -absolute beauty in its natural, untainted perfection). Further it is using the right and left side of you brain as one unit and in turn creating (i.e. the creation of / the light / the birth of etc.) a story / a feeling / emotion / you become possessed by the spirit of life and you become connected to the energy / . . . connecting every being as one . . and it is as deep, going as deep as our very primal being (another i.e. -our heart beats XX times each day –like the beat of the drums). It’s my soul and a tool that I us to connect to the light and I don’t need to see the light anymore (anymore is the key word there 🙂 to know that it is there (the it being the presence / the greater being / the higher power -whatever (that is if you believe and no offence to those who do not) . . . further, and when I dance I know that no matter what everything will be alright (we all are shinning stars: once bright and flickering, a reminder of what was and what will always be).

    LOL . . . I’m well over the limit set of words for this contest . . . LOL again 🙂

    So, to sum all of this up -words cannot explain how dance has enhanced my life . . . what dance, what music , what life and the meaning of life means to me . . . except how lucky I feel to be able to share this thing that is sooo overwhelmingly beautiful that it leaves me speechless (LOL) every time (my only explanation is that it is my heart, my love and a whole a lot more) and how lucky I feel to be able to share this with the rest of the world. ©

    Yours very truly,

    Trouble ♥ ♀

  4. In fact music and dance are closely related and can not be separated. Dance reflects who we are.The way we are moving,walking,dancing,talking give informations or messages about us to the others. It is an expression of our thoughts and emotion using sound and lyrics and this is vital not only for me but for everyone. Dance and movement are part of our life since we are born.Observe how the young children from all of the world react when hearing music:they start to move their body,their hands, their eyes are full of smile, they are joyful. That is the life.

  5. There is a quote that I read at one time that said, “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” This totally describes the person that I am. I’m the girl who will just start dancing for no reason in the most (according to my friends) inappropriate places. We could be in the loudest restaurant, and I would be the only one who can, or better to say think I can, hear the music. While I go off into my own little world and start swaying, bouncing, gesturing with my hands or stepping with my feet under the table, my friends usually make the comment that I’m crazy. Also they usually mention how much I embarrass them, and when they do that I just exaggerate what I’m doing to make more of a scene.
    To sum it up quick: If everyone could just hear the music, then we could all just break out into song and dance. Then life really would be a musical, which would be awesome!

  6. How does dance enhance your life …

    At times I feel I might choke on life. It can seem thoughtlessly cruel and perfectly beautiful, glorious and painful and precise in its random order. But when I DANCE, somehow it all begins to make sense. When I DANCE, order pours out of me, a round warmth that rolls and plays like a bird high on invisible currents, showing me a connection between all things. A sweetness comes over me. DANCING harmonizes me, uplifts me, shifts my perception. When I DANCE, I feel divinely whole, like a child who is always dear and loved unconditionally with a vast and all-encompassing love, loved and allowed the grace to make mistakes. When I DANCE I know somehow in the deepest parts of me that we are all just learning, fumbling towards ecstasy in perpetual youth, gathering experience like a handful of bright threads, which we weave into our very souls. When I close my eyes, I can hear beneath the noise of time a mellow hum, the Buddhist Om, the hummingbird’s wings, the noise of space and all its stars. Knowing I am a part of this rhythm. This is why I DANCE.

    – Natalie Bercovitz (CDF Ottawa workshop Feb ’08)

  7. I’ve never been a “dancer”. When I was a kid, my mom put me into ballet/tap/jazz to keep me out of trouble elsewhere. I always felt silly in the tight outfits, because I never had a “dancers body”, but I quickly learned to love the moment the music began. I forgot where I was, who was watching and just enjoyed it all. After 25 years of not taking dance classes I recently dicovered hip hop (and thank god for baggy clothes!). I re-discovered my love of just tuning everything out and letting the music take me away. I enjoy the physical challenge, love the dance endorphines that kick in after a great class, and love sharing this re-kindled passion with like minded individuals. So, I guess you could say dance not only enhances my life, but has now become and integral part of it.

  8. Someone once said that: “When you dance you feel everything and nothing all at the same time.”

    Dancing is a physical and emotional release. It is artistic and visceral, and I wouldn’t be without it.

    I have danced all my life in different capacities from recreational to professional. Now I’m a lawyer and it can be hard to make time for class. I still get immense pleasure out of attending class even if it is just once a week. It provides me with an escape from all the hours sat behind a desk and keeps me in the moment -carefree and stressless.

    Dancing reminds me that it is a gift to hear music and to have the ability to move to it. It is something we should all be grateful for, as not everyone has this ability.

    Thanks to Shawn B. for all that he has taught me in my past and present dance life and to dance, for it is a great joy.


  9. Danza es mi vida, mi motivacion, mi felicidad, un mundo personal y a la vez social, espiritual y cultural.
    Danza es la expresion del alma en materia…comunicacion en movimiento.
    La danza es tan personal como nuestra personalidad, y no tiene limites.
    Lei alguna vez en algun lado que la danza y la musica fueron las primeras formas de expresion humanas, porque la creatividad del ser humano es algo que tenemos de forma innata.
    Y se que todo esto suena muy existencial…pero que no la danza es exactamente eso?…por lo menos para mi si!

    TRANSLATE IT SHAWN…HAHAHA just joking…I’ll do it…

    Dance is my life, my motivation, my happiness, a personal world and at the same time a social, spiritual and cultural one.
    Dance is the expression of the soul made in mass….communication in movement.
    Dance is as personal as our personality, and it doesn’t have any limit.
    I read once somewhere that dance and music were the first form of human expressions, because human creativity is something we have since we’re born.
    And I know all this sounds very existential…but isn’t dance all about that?…at least for me it is!


  10. I haven’t really started to learn how to dance yet. But will do in a week or so =D. I think that dancing is something really intriguing. It fascinates me a lot. When I watch music videos or shows like you think you can dance or america’s best dance crew, it makes me jealous that I can’t dance. In my eyes dancing seems like a great way to keep fit and at the same time have fun. That’s why many people dance their hearts out in my opinion. Maybe some day dance will become a part of me. =)

  11. Life without dance is not living for me. I honestly live to dance. Since I was young I have known I was put on this planet to dance and bring dance to others. I’ve been tapping since I was 3 and I have never ever stopped, I’m always informed in stores that I’m dancing or waiting at bus stops those feet keep on moving. For me I don’t care, I need to move. Most of us are born with the ability to move yet much of our lives restrains or surpresses that internal drive to move. It enhances my life because it fuels my drive to live and be the best I can be but through it I can enhance others through it by bringing awareness in body, mind and space. It is amazing to see people “get” something for the first time. It is more amazing to see people do something they never thought they could do. My motto is “we might not all become Karen Kain but we can all dance!” After 22 years of teaching and 32+ years of dancing the awe of learning and moving has never seized. I grow through movement exploration every single day of my life and that seems to now be passed onto my 3 boys who are super proud to discover new ways to move to. Every time I have been away from dance part of me has been missing, dance completes who I am.

  12. I have always been fascianted and intrigued by watching people dance; although I am not at the level I want to be, I have been dancing a lot lately during the past few months. It is a way for me to relax from my studies, and I plan on taking classes this month. I really want to express myself through dance, and I feel people will be able to understand me better when they see me dance. I simply love it. Anytime I hear music I want to dance to the beat. Dance will forever be with me, and I want to be able to share my interest in dance with everyone around me.

  13. Dancing is something that everybody speaks. for me, i’ve been dancing for years and stopped this year and i’m missing it. it enhances my life because i could express myself into things i could and couldn’t do. sometimes it lightens up people’s lives, gives them confidence in life, learns a lot of different things and makes friends.

    as of now, in my early age, all i know is that i love to dance, and i love to be involved with a lot of things, especially when it involves music in it, like dancing and writing/making music (which right now is what i’ve been doing all along while having a pause on dancing). =)

  14. Its sometimes the only reason you get out of bed at all. The world seems so chaotic and cruel these days, dance is one of the few things that make me have faith in humanity and the world we live in.

    The communities that dance creates, Is one with respect for their elders, acceptance of all, people with hard work ethics and a determination to succeed, and people that are genuine. They are the only communities in this world that I want to live in.

    The fact that dancers flight their battles through dance and solve them through dance, makes me believe that if everyone danced we wouldn’t have wars. At least not the kind where the number of people who die is just a statistic.

    Dance is a rare form where you never truly die. Your steps, your moves, and your stories, carry on through your students because we care about our history and who came before us. We appreciate what people have sacrificed so we can do what we do. We know we cannot move ahead until we know how we got to where we got.

    Finally dance makes you feel good, its something you can do from the day you are born until the day you die. It makes you smarter and works your memory. People have proven, more than once, that you don’t even need legs to do it. If theres a will we will find the way to dance.

    I dance because I have to, but all of these things that come along with it make be proud to say I am a dancer, and give me something to believe in when everything else seems to let me down. Someone once told me if you are there for the dance, the dance will be there for you, and I believe that with my whole heart.

    Thank you Shawn for spreading the love of Dance.

  15. For me Dance- is a way to express myself! Even though I’m not a professional dancer it is something that has inspired me all my life!
    Dance is a way of expressing something that can’t be expressed though words, an emotion that everybody can read anywhere in the world… It’s a realm where you can let go of everything else in your life and just be you… It’s a way of releasing yourself, allowing yourself to be who you are and feel safe… It’s a way of seeing things in a different way- something we all need at one point or another..:))

  16. Dancing is life…
    There is no other way to describe it…

    Being a guy completely intoxicated by dancing I became well let’s just say I even walk with a beat but that’s not hat it’s about…

    Dance is a way to express what you are feeling and just get lost in the moment and have a fun time doing it.

    Bad day??? Don’t worry krump it out
    Good day??? Start popping and gliding
    With a fine girl??? Grind and let the sparks fly

    Dance is my way creating my own reality where nothing matters except happiness

    (There is some much more dancing means but this is the basis of it)

  17. I’ve been dancing since I was in the womb. I love to dance. As a kid, I’d dance in the mirror with a hairbrush and sing along to records.

    As a kid/teen, I took ballet, tap, jazz and modern.

    As an adult, I tried my hand at three years of hiphop.

    I’m one of those people who close down nightclubs because I don’t want to leave the dance floor.

    I have two beautiful sons who came out dancing.

    Watching Dorian, my youngest, dance and grow and evolve has been one of my greatest joys in life, especially these past two weeks as he danced and sang in Joseph.

    Dance is a part of my life and my joy of it has been passed down to my sons.

    Thank you Sean for running these classes and letting Dorian grow with you, even if his schedule is too crazy sometimes!

    (I had to delete three quarters of this post because as a novelist, I babbled on for way more than 100 words!)

  18. I haven’t started yet but I plan to start this mid March, me being the only guy out of all my friends who wanna try this i figure there something wrong with me perhaps? haha, how it enhances my life….even though I haven’t started it yet I know it will enhance my life because I never would of done this if I never moved to Toronto for school. And this isn’t something I ever would of even considered doing in the past, since I was never into dance. But hey, new city, new life style, new friends, why not take the extra step and try something new? right? something rare, this will help me “step outside the box” of my everyday life.

    So it enhances it through change

  19. I danced all my young life, and looking back it was the best part of my life – but life changes and you make decisions and you get married and have children and even though your life seems full and happy – there is something missing.

    After searching and searching I finally found your Tap classes!!! Words cannot express what this has done for me. It is my own time of the week – it is a time to let go and just be me for me. Its challenging and rewarding and I feel so amazing in class and after class. It is my outlet for the bottled up creativity and energy that is inside me. It is exercising without feeling like you are exercising. My mind is free from all the stress in my life. When I’m dancing, I don’t think about how old I am or how many new wrinkles I have. Dancing actually makes me feel young again. It makes me feel like I never stopped dancing. I look forward to it every week and if I have to miss it, I REALLY miss it. I am so happy that dance is a part of my life again. Thanks to your tap classes I feel like I have found a part of me that has been missing for a long time.

    Thank you for enhancing my life ….!!!! See you in class



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