Dancing Words (a Bodyness Blog Wave post)


Two of my favourite things in the world are dancing and writing.

When I dance, I love the feeling of my body moving through space, the stretch of my muscles, the flow of my breath. When I am grounded, centred, and completely IN my body, I feel connected not only to my deepest core, but to the whole of the Universe. My cells dance in time to the rhythm of creation as I express my soul through movement.

When I’m writing, I can get to a place of similar flow and connection. Words I didn’t know I contained flow through my hands and appear on the screen. Images and phrases that delight and astonish me suddenly appear unbidden. My story emerges, dancing with the rhythms of life.

Sometimes, dance and writing collide. While reading a written piece out loud, I come across a word that I particularly enjoy. I take a moment to feel the  shape of the word, to roll it around my mouth and appreciate the dance of speaking. Or, while dancing, a word will come to mind and shape my dance with its meaning.

There’s the dance of the written (or spoken) word…and words that shape the dance.

Below is a list of 16 of my favourite dancing words. These words dance as they are spoken…and they shape the dance I do. Today, I invite you to take a minute to fully appreciate these words. Read them aloud to yourself and appreciate the way your mouth moves to produce the sounds they make.

Feel the texture and rhythm of the sounds—the crisp report of a P or a T, for example, or the soft hiss of a “Sh”—and notice how they feel. Appreciate the marvel of a mouth that can form these sounds, the wonder of language.


(Feel free to download the picture so you can play with it whenever you want)


And then take another minute to dance your way down the list.

How does it feel to twirl? How is it different from oozing or striking? Move your way through the words and see how they translate into your body.

There is no wrong way to do this…no “good” or “bad.” There is only you, your breath, your body. Give yourself the gift of exploring and enjoying them today.


7 thoughts on “Dancing Words (a Bodyness Blog Wave post)”

  1. Oh Meg, this is WONDERFUL! I feel the words twirling in my body as I read them, I taste them in my mouth even without pronouncing them out loud. I just LOVE how you combine senses AND words… You are my hero 🙂

    I noticed the Linky Widget didn’t appear in your browser, because you didn’t drop the link in the post. I made some changes in the code, you might want to come back and leave your lik in the widget (similar to the CED widget).

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful talent,
    Love and afterglow,
    Nele xxx

    1. YAY!! 😀 😀
      And you’re right, it didn’t show up…but I just went back and it’s there now.
      Thanks for the inspiration…I love the idea of “Bodyness” 😀

  2. I don’t know of you are aware but a bunch of those words are movement qualities according to Laban movement analysis. I learned a little in college and I remember having those words to describe movement qualities was very helpful. Like float, melt and flow I remember being in there. Strike also sounds like it should be but I think they call it punch. I remember wring too. Anyway, I think that is such a neat coincidence that these words that feel good on your tongue were so perfectly descriptive other people used them too to perfectly describe motion. I always wondered, well how do you verbalize dance? Laban taught me that parts of it could be done and that by learning to “speak” it I could do it better and more precisely, faster. Any way, fascinating.

    1. I didn’t know that! I’m not entirely surprised, since I was thinking about movement as well as mouth feel when I picked the specific words (some of them definitely turn up in Nia and DansKinetics as well…strike is a Nia word, I think).

      I just found a shoebox of stuff I used when I was teaching adult creative dance classes. There are a series of homemade flash cards in there…there’s a stack with “movement quality” words like these ones, another one with movements like “skip” and “tiptoe” and “run,” and another with body parts. I remember, we used to play a game where the students would draw a card from each stack, and then they’d have to create a dance around them…”how do you skip in an oozy way while leading with your elbow?” that kind of thing 🙂 It was a challenge, but SO fun!

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