Over the Rainbow - a site for survivors of any unwanted sexual activity
    Dance

Dance and healing from sexual assault
Dance is not only a wonderful and fun form of exercise, it is a great way to express yourself. Don't feel you need to have any previous dance experience - most places have beginners classes available.
My Experience
Even though I have no formal dance training I have been doing jazz classes for the last year and a half. I have found dance to be a great de-stresser. I have also enjoyed improving my flexibility

Sav's Experience
Dancing has a positive effect on your body. It's very grounding, and you feel every muscle and bone, you really feel connected to your body, something I find helpful while hating my body. Also it shows you what great stuff you can do with your bod, which can make you feel really good about yourself. You feel like a woman, and sometimes (if you don't see yourself in the mirror) you can even feel graceful, strong and pretty. The picture on the right is one done by Sav

Louise's Experience
Bellydancing was absolutely divinely empowering for my healing. I learned that it was okay to adorn my body in beautiful, sensuous clothing and move it in sensuous ways. It was not not inviting rape. Those were my rapist's rules, and they were bullshit. My crowning glory came when my best friend and I bellydanced our way down the main street of my town in an anti-rape march (left) I was able to think to my rapist, fuck you,. I can dress and move however I want and still demand the right not to be raped. It was a beautiful moment in my healing.

Lisa's Experience
I was a ballet dancer for around 15 years, and I was never able to dance just to relax and let my body do whatever. It always had to be strict and technical. However, lately I've been just dancing to whatever music I want to, and doing whatever I want. It's extremely freeing, although it took some getting used to because I constantly judged myself for not being a good dancer anymore. I guess my point is to emphasize the non-judgement part. When you dance, you should just let your body move to the music. I think it helps build trust of yourself again.

Nicole's Experience
I am a dancer, ballet and modern mainly though I have done most forms of dance. These photos are from a lyrical dance I choreographed to Enigma's song "Return to Innocence", it was actually my first piece born out of my pain. This is a good thing! It was amazingly theraputic to be able to move my body, my way to words that spoke to my soul and told my story in so many ways. It was like telling my story without words. This performance for me was an expression, I was telling the world (or at least those audience) my story, my feelings, my pain and my journey to return to myself.

"Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence.
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence"
-Enigma, Return to Innocence
   
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