Anecdotal Experience of the interest in Sensual Dance/Movement
By Lisa Fasullo
Sensuality in women is an area I have become passionate about after teaching sensual dance for the last several years. I have had the opportunity of talking with hundreds of women of different ages about their sense of feeling sensuality in their lives, or more accurately sometimes, feeling the lack of it. Needless to say, I am fascinated and curious about this nebulous quality of sensuality and ways it can express itself in our 21st century modern lifestyles.
A call for research
Though I am not a researcher, I have started to see the effects that learning simple sensual movement can have on women and I experienced on a small scale, that it is definitely a subject women are intrigued with, made giddy by, and even seemingly “hungry” to talk about. More than talking about it, they seem to want more than anything, to feel more of it in themselves and in the different areas of their lives.
I believe that conducting a pilot study would not only be fun to conduct, but more importantly, would be able to contribute to the emerging study of sexuality and sensuality which have, up until recent times, been considered more controversial and ‘edgy’, relegated outside the accepted and acknowledged fields of scientific study.
There does seem to be a substantial body of literature on human sexuality, however, much of this, to my knowledge, has been centered around the nuts and bolts of the body and sexuality, and how those nuts and bolts work, or do not work. Although I am making light of this here, I do know that forward movement has been made in the more emotive, sense-based area, of human sexuality and I would like to be a part of this forward, progressive movement.
Potential health benefits of Sensual Movement
As a start, there seems to be a profound need to:
1) Identify what sensuality is and how it is accessed/felt/embodied
2) Determine why so many women are not only feeling the lack of it, but not even able to identify what they feel a lack of.
Once again, in my small sample of women as students, many shared with me, as well as other class members, very intimate details about a sense of dryness in their lives, a lack of vitality and somehow not feeling comfortable in their own bodies. It continually surprised me how comfortable and open women felt in the company of other women who were strangers other than the fact tat they had also “ended up at a sensual dance class not really knowing how or why,” I heard that sentiment from many women over the years, that something guided them, even though they thought they “couldn’t dance,” “were uncoordinated” or” just not a sensual person.”
Predominant & Recurrent Issues Experienced by Women
These are areas that women have shared with me or the class as a whole. A growing sense in themselves of the following:
– Younger women talked about how common promiscuity and eating disorders are in their age group
– Lack of a satisfying sensual relationship with their partner
– Inability to begin or maintain a relationship
– Feeling old and undesirable (even middle aged women)
– Feeling out of shape and unattractive with no motivation to improve their sense of themselves
– Not feeling comfortable in their own bodies, noticing the ease other women felt however
– Feelings of low level depression, disconnection with their bodies, and lonely even amidst others
Sensual Movement for Physical and Mental Health
I think the ease with which these women have shared their stories with me over the years is evidence that the lack of having positive feelings about themselves as women and having ways of expressing that sense is something we all know is unhealthy physically and from a mental health perspective.
A bio/psycho/social disorder, the term depression means literally ‘pressed-inwardly.’ Leaning sensual movement – the development of a life-llong skill and increased self-perception of oneself as a sensual being – is worthwhile of being studied as an antidote to depression, where instead of growing levels of creative repression, women have the potential to quite literally and figuratively press themselves creatively outward, making their more expansive, re-newed and profound mark on the world around them.