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PLEASURE – The Missing Vitamin

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

(Stefan Freedman)

What is Vitamin P? It is pleasure. This is as nourishing to life as sunlight.

Dance is therapeutic. There is a rapidly growing body of research backing this up but it’s rare to find mention of the word ‘pleasure’. Are we still suffering from the traumatic echoes of Puritanism and Victorian England? In addition to the co-regulation and harmonising aspects, there is a galaxy of positive experiences and simple pleasures that dancing can open up for those involved. This is of especial benefit to people affected by trauma, which tends to lock down the pleasure circuits and replace them with anxiety or numbness. Fortunately Vitamin P is readily available. Sinuous dances give an ‘erotic’ charge in a playful way, with no complications. Rom (gipsy) dances can kindle an inner fire and in Latin and African dances the fire leaps out with exuberance. Meditative movement can be like drifting on a peaceful stream or on a cloud high above all the world’s troubles – a sense of lightness. Earthy dances with a tribal energy offer the gift of feeling invincible, of having presence. Some dances interweave the dancers, who enjoy interacting and synchronising. Dance provides a thrilling diversity of simple wholesome pleasures: presence, connection, self-expression, agency, flow, embodying positive emotions and sensations. In some Somatic work there is a clinical atmosphere. This overlooks the enlivening role that Vitamin P can play. Pleasure motivates people to practice somatic methods and leads them beyond ‘OK-ness’ toward loving life and thriving. Imagined roles and identities change as the dances open portals through embodied story. Participants switch from human to animal, from peasant to monarch, from tree to sunburst. Pleasure is the missing Vitamin in much somatic work. We will remedy this! “Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive!” – Hafiz

Artwork 'Dance of the Little Sun Under the Full Moon Painting' By Valerie Not

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