Photo Credit: Elena Gatti
I sat in the dark room, eagerly anticipating the show. The music started softly but quickly built into a crescendo of notes filling my ears. It seemed that she appeared out of nowhere: gyrating, writhing, sliding on the floor, and twirling around a pole. I could smell her perfume. It had vanilla undertones. She also had a red silk scarf, which she used to seductively cover body parts or flick around the room. She stopped in front of me and let the scarf settle around my neck. The silk was slightly cold and so soft against my skin. It was strangely erotic, even though she never physically touched me with her hands. It added a whole new element to the performance and I found myself completely awe-struck. The scarf seemed so simple, yet it completed the show. All of my senses were on overload and I left ready to take my dance to the next level. I recently felt like I'd lost my mojo when it came to dancing, but experiencing this show with my entire body inspired me.
Our senses make our life experiences so much more intense. A visit to the ocean might not be so enjoyable if we could not hear the waves breaking on the sand. A visit to the Grand Canyon would be less intense without sight. A dozen red velvety roses might be slightly less beautiful without smell. Getting into bed with fresh sheets would not be as amazing without touch. Decadent chocolate cheesecake would go unappreciated without taste. Our senses are so sensitive that if we lose one, the others step up to pick up the slack. Our bodies are amazing!
SightI am a visual person and could spend hours taking photographs of interesting scenes. Pinterest is the mecca of inspiration. After spending a few minutes there, I am certain I need to throw a bunch of fresh veggies into my crockpot while I decorate ornate cupcakes, dye my hair purple, paint a cool design on my nails, glitter my own shoes, and start a burpee challenge -- all in one day. What happens if you lose your vision? Try dancing with a blindfold. It sounds dangerous but a blindfolded dance is a very intense experience. Your hands instinctively feel your surroundings and your hearing seems instantly sharper. You feel the air move as others dance around you and you will be surprised to dance an entire song without running into anyone else. Should you encounter another body, however, it doesn't ruin the dance but becomes part of it as you mold your bodies around each other. All of your other senses are heightened in order to allow you to continue moving. It is very eye-opening -- no pun intended.
Our ears can alert us to danger or bring the sweet sound of music into our day. I love music -- especially live music. Attending concerts is one of my absolute favorite life experiences. Not only am I listening to the sounds, but my body can feel the vibrations -- the bass of the speakers and the electricity in the air from the excitement of those there to enjoy the show. Bodies sway together, damp with sweat. We hear the songs, sing along and then we dance together. Touching each other and feeling the music just as much as we hear it. It is like no other feeling in the world. Try dancing to a variety songs in different genres. Does your body prefer to move to a deep bass, the haunting sound of a longing voice or the strings of a guitar?
SmellMy nose is ridiculously sensitive. I can smell when someone is wearing raw silk. The slightest whiff of a certain men's cologne turns me into a raging sex goddess. While dancing, I would have thought our noses wouldn't matter but the sense of smell definitely comes into play. I can smell sweat on our bodies -- a sign of how hard we are working. I can smell the shampoo in my classmates' hair. I can even sometimes tell which fabric softener they use on their clothes. All of these scents help move me in different directions. I want to move closer to pleasant scents and further away from those I find less pleasurable. Certain scents can whisk me away to another time -- as if I was in that exact moment again. Without smell, our next sense -- taste -- is pointless. The next time you're set to dance, spray an article of clothing with your favorite perfume, cologne or essential oil. Does it make a difference when you dance?
TasteI love food and often actually miss out on the enjoyment of this sense. I am so concerned with powering down certain foods that I don't spend enough time actually tasting them. While I don't find that I incorporate taste into my dance often, I do enjoy many tastes. My man's skin on my tongue. Chocolate mousse. Crisp watermelon. I like to say that food is for fuel not pleasure, however decadent foods were created for a reason -- to satisfy our sense of taste. How many social situations are centered around food? We go out to breakfast, we brunch, we meet for lunch, we sit down to dinner with the family, and no party is complete without snacks. So much of our day surrounds eating food, so we might as well eat foods that not only bring us nutrition but satisfy our sense of taste. While dancing with food might bring on some challenges, try treating your self to a decadent treat after a dance class or performance. Before the class, fuel your body with a super food that will give you energy throughout your dance....but after...pleasure yourself with something yummy and tasty! (You can check out Nina's post for some tips!)
TouchThe sense of touch is probably my favorite. How else could I feel the soft velvet of a horse's nose when I kiss it? How would I enjoy the breeze on my damp skin after a vigorous workout? How would my feet know I was at the beach if I couldn't feel every single grain of sand? We wear luxurious fabrics as clothing. We go to the day spa to have oils rubbed on our bodies. We control the temperature of our environment to keep ourselves as comfortable as possible. The sense of touch is so amazing -- alerting us to heat that might burn our skin, or bringing pleasure as we wrap ourselves in silk sheets. We can physically touch things like dewy grass and a baby's soft skin. We also feel, even if we cannot physically touch, the wind on our face and the sun on our skin. I use the sense of touch in every dance as my feet feel the floor or my hands grip the pole; it guides me from the pole to the floor, and back again as I dance. Jillian suggested it and Sheena as well. The next time you're set to dance, try dancing in different fabrics that you normally do. How does cotton feel as you spin? How does silk or lace feel? Which one does your body prefer?
Inspired by Senses
While each and every sense is not required for a perfect life experience, it would be exponentially intensified by fully utilizing each sense available. I use my senses to inspire greater movement. Like the dancer who incorporated the scarf and appealed to my senses, I aspire to make each and every day a memorable experience. Life is an adventure so anything you can do to enhance the experience should be encouraged.
We love sexy stories! Comment below and tell us how you've used your senses to help you enjoy life just a little bit more.
Lori is a plus-sized pole dance instructor, #PDBloggers Board Member and writes her own blog called Confessions of a Twirly Girl.