Blog, Writing

How Writing is Like Dancing

I’ve never been much of a dancer. Besides a few wedding receptions, 20-something bachelorette parties and a teen party in the past, I don’t usually show off my dancing moves for all to see. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try to pop, lock and drop it for the sake of embarrassing my kids, but I’m not an expert by any means.

My daughter, though, is an avid dancer and has performed in recitals for the past five years. I sit in awe each recital weekend, amazed at the determination these dancers have and the grace they exhibit with each number.

When I watch my daughter dance with her peers, I’m reminded of how dancing is such a beautiful art of expression – just like writing.

Writing, obviously, is my favorite form of expression. It allows me to dance with words, spin with anecdotes and tap out my frustrations. Just like dancing, it is not always easy or a graceful performance.

Sometimes I falter, fall, miss a step and tap off beat. I sweat a lot when I’m on deadline and I doubt my abilities when the task is difficult. But at other times, my words gracefully fly off the page like a ballerina mastering a leap. When I keep trying and practicing, the steps get easier and encourage me to keep dancing along.

I can also express myself as a writer, expanding my repertoire with different styles. Just as dancers switch from tap and ballet to hip hop and jazz, writers also strengthen their skills and express themselves by varying the tone, organization and style.

When I’m frustrated, I tap out an opinion piece to persuade my audience. When I’m happy, I compile a light-hearted narrative or anecdotal piece. When I’m feeling sassy, I throw a little attitude into a blog post and quite often, I spruce up my wording to jazz up an article.

In reality, writers are dancers at heart. We sway to the words, we feel the meaning we wish to express and we type to a rhythm with every piece.

And sometimes, we pop, lock and drop it just for fun.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: June 6, 2010

© Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


4 thoughts on “How Writing is Like Dancing”

  1. I love that comparison! Along the lines of what you said, I was thinking how much work it takes to be good at dancing and writing, but how easy it looks when you’re watching a pro. It’s a good parallel.

  2. Gus! the way you dance with words lasts longer than the music I hear in my head. I am so proud of you! while I had nothing to do with your success, it makes me happy to dwell on “Gus” and her shadow who used to keep us company. Love You, Joan

  3. Thanks, Joan! Of course, you had a hand in it – you and Jim were such a positive influence on all of us girls growing up! Sending love, Gus.

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