What Writers Can Learn From Dancers

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This isn’t my idea. Read this terrific essay by novelist Zadie Smith in The Guardian, “What Beyoncé’ Taught Me,” about writing, dancing, high art, popular art, race, gender, and the joy of self-expression. She draws many lessons on writing from different types of dancers, twining the two art forms together in fascinating ways.

Writers, who live so much in their heads, can also learn from the physical expression of dance. Writers need to move, to get the blood and ideas flowing. When the words are stuck, try moving the body. It doesn’t matter if you’re “good” or not. Just expressing your creativity through a more physical medium can loosen your mind as well as your body. After all, our minds and bodies are connected. So feel free to just dance in your living room, or wherever you can. And don’t worry about whether you’re producing high or low art, in your writing or your dancing. Find your own joy, in whatever form of self-expression you choose.

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