“Take a little dream down from the shelf – go out and live it just for yourself” ~ from “Dance the Way You Dance” (DHC)

 TikTok and YouTube are filled with people copying other people: musicians, dancers, make-up artists — who are often copying yet other people.

That’s a great way to start being self-expressed: pretending to be someone else – stepping into their skin. In fact, it’s a skill I teach in Hip Harp Academy – to embody an archetype – and sometimes we’re so disconnected from ourselves that being someone else is the only way to connect. 

But what about when you want to find your OWN creative voice that ISN’T anyone else?  

That takes courage and inspiration.

It also takes guidance, believe it or not. 

You’d think that being yourself would be the most natural thing in the world – but when we’ve spent a lifetime NOT being ourselves it often feels, awkward, wrong, too revealed, icky and dangerous — and the truth is that every living thing is born slimy. So when we see that new self, we often want to just run away or cover it up. I speak for myself … and I also see it when I’m coaching other musicians.

That’s why we search for mentors, like I searched for my mentor Tony Montanaro – the man who broke me out of the mind-trap of what I thought a harpist was. He taught me the skills and tools for a lifetime journey of reinvention. Now I’m a mentor, myself, mentoring other harpists from around the world in Hip Harp Academy.  As I share what I know, my own process deepens – I learn again, I go deeper.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy – and this is a song I wrote to give myself courage to step out of my own prison I’d created.

If you are searching to find YOUR creative voice (and once you start the search it never ends, if you’re lucky) – listen to this song, find a mentor, and commit to finding the way YOU dance, the way YOU sing, the way YOU play the instrument of your heart

And if you’re a harpist, come do that with me in Hip Harp Academy.

“DANCE the way you DANCE” LYRICS

Words & Music by Deborah Henson-Conant

 

You gotta dance the way you dance, to the rhythm of your own heart, 

You gotta close your eyes and listen ‘til you hear it

Listen ‘til you hear your music start

 

And then sing the way you sing, to the music of own soul,

You gotta close your eyes and listen ‘til you hear it,

Listen ‘til you hear the music roll

 

And then dance the way you dance, to the rhythm of your own heart

You gotta close your eyes and listen til you hear the music start

Hear the music start!

 

You gotta stop looking to the left and right to see how far you got.

Take a little time to be just where you are.

And while you’re there, why don’t you take a good long look at yourself?

Look at yourself!  And you’ll say:

This is the way that i am. This is the way that i am!

This is the way that i am. And i like it just fine.

 

Because i dance the way i dance, because i sing the way i sing,

Because i close my eyes and listen til i hear the music ring.

Hear the music ring.  Hear the music ring.

 

You gotta stop looking to the left and right to see how far you got.

Take a little time to be just where you are.

And while you’re there, why don’t you take a good long look at yourself?

I say – what do you want to see? What do you want to be?

 

If you’ve got something that you want to say,

No matter how simple it seems.

If you want to dance, if you want to sing,

If you want to live a thousand dreams.

Take a little dream down from the shelf.

Go out and live it just for yourself,

Cause nobody else is gonna show you the way

Nobody else is gonna give you the chance

Nobody else can, nobody else can, nobody else can, nobody else can:

 

Dance the way you dance. Dance the way you dance

You gotta dance the way you dance, and sing the way you sing.

Come on, you gotta dance the way you dance, and sing the way you sing.

You gotta dance the way you dance, sing the way you sing

Dance the way you dance, sing the way you sing,

Dance the way you dance, sing the way you sing

 

You gotta dance the way you dance, to the rhythm of your own heart

You gotta close your eyes and listen til you hear it.

Listen ‘til you hear your music start.

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