Dancing Her Pains Away by: Denise Dionysus Roussel

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

I want to share a beautiful post that was written by my beautiful friend Denise Rousssel.  Enjoy.

This is a true story. It is the story of a woman whose love of dancing has been pivotal to her life. It is the story of someone who had a dream as a young child, and that dream was to dance. It also brings into the picture the Greek god of mythology, Dionysus.

Dionysus is known as the god of wine, joy, theatre and revelry. Dionysus is also known as the god of ecstasy and the consummate lover of peace.

Enter now, the sweet, innocent little girl who called herself Dionysus, a girl who loved dancing. Back in the day, she fantasized about being a go-go dancer on a TV show. Music moved her. It also took away whatever pains and sorrows she might have had to endure at any given time.

The little girl’s family did not encourage her, nor did they understand her need to move, run, jump, and dance, though they did call her the disco queen, when she put on her dancing shoes, selected clothes, make-up and perfume. In her attire and in her movement, she felt a great freedom, a freedom even she could not put into words.

As a young adult, student, and worker, wherever she was, she moved in her way, life made a dance. Life was therefore liveable and harsh realities were minimized.

Years elapsed. Work became agonizing. There was a marriage and children. There were increasing demands in her life, sometimes such demands being overwhelming. Sadly, during those years, there was little laughter and not much dancing.

At a relatively young age, “Dionysus” felt lost in a world of unrelenting pain, pain brought on by fibromyalgia, and arthritis. In 1992, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Relief came by way of prescription drugs, but her dancing was put on hold. Things were not good. For twenty-two years, life was, in fact, a veritable nightmare, but all was not lost. Somehow she retained her sanity, her dignity, her joie de vivre.

Today, all medications have been put aside, with the exception of an oestrogen hormone replacement and a minimal amount of prescribed cannabis, as physical pains still remain. Chronic pains are like that.

But, after all those years of life having been put on proverbial hold, dance therapy entered the picture, whether in bed, in a chair, or standing up. Movement, so long restricted, returned, as she regained control of her movements.

Physical pains forever lurking, still there are days when there seems to be an unlimited surge of burning energy that springs out of her body, and the former dreamy-eyed little girl of old dances. The healing is slow. But dance is the answer to many a question posed, literally and/or metaphorically.

A healer of people by nature, she is now living a new life in an idyllic country setting, needing to be as far away from the city as is humanly possible. City lights and city sounds have now been replaced by the twinkling stars at night, the calming breeze moving through the trees, and the singing of birds.

Now, there is dancing done. It is a different kind of dancing, one done to the beat of the earth itself. Each breath of fresh air is a musical note, in its own way, and she swirls, spirals, shimmies, moves in circles, her body regaining balance. Her spirit is on fire again. And so it is she moves, her pains vanishing, if only for a while.

She now dances for someone special, too, someone whose loving eyes follow her every move, encouraging her to expend more energy still. “Dance,” he says, “dance, Dionysus, dance for me.” And so she dances. Her moves are a thing of beauty, a living work of art.

There is music in the air. He, also, is an artist, a poet, a drummer, and she moves to the rhythm of his words and the beating of his drum. Each move is a moment filled with magic. Each session is a living dream, a dream now being realized more and more because of love, music, and dancing.

The future is promising like never before. Now, even when alone, alone and struggling with recurring pains, she hears his voice: “Dance, Dionysus, dance for me.” And so she dances, even in her sleep, she dances. Day by beautiful day, she dances. There is joy and laughter in the air. There is healing under way.  The spirit of a once-upon-a-time little girl is returning more and more each passing moment. Life is good, all things considered.

It was he who noted the open invitation to write about dancing for possible publication. It was he who encouraged her to write, she who had been a journalist once upon a time, so many years ago, before agonizing pains overtook her. And so, summoning more energies still, she chose to write this about her life, braces no longer needed for her wrists, at least not this day.

This day, rain is falling steadily outside. She has ventured out into it and has twirled a few times, enjoying the cool feeling of the liquid on her body, refreshing, invigorating, having its own rhythm, a rhythm inducing her to do a rain dance of sorts. Indeed, all of nature is inducing her to dance now. And so she dances. She dances to her heart’s content. The joyful reality of it is that Dionysus is dancing her pains away.

She inspires people who watch her dance, putting her heart and soul into the activity, transferring her energy into the healing process of her body as well theirs.  It is a communion of spirits, an energy exchange based on improvised movements and to the drumbeats of life itself.

Dionysus is imparting her message to the medical community.  It is now time for them to concentrate more efforts and money into the Chronic Pain Healing Dance Therapy and encourage chronic pain sufferers to take charge of their given situation and learn how to dance their own pains away!