April 16, 2012

Trust Was How I Learned to Be a Real Dance Partner. ~ Lisa Wimberger


Mind your brain and stop dancing alone.

Growing up with a dance background in which choreography, rhythm and timing demanded my attention caused me to believe that passionate dance was a function of my most graceful and individual expression.

Individual execution determined success or failure. I was the sole force responsible for the motion carrying me through a sea of sound and space. This was also how my brain directed me in life. In order to represent my most individual expression, I used my passionate emotions and reactivity to move me through relationships and situations.

I believed “I” was responsible for the motion of my life. When others had control, my threatened beliefs made me feel invalidated. This is the way it feels when we live our lives in a dominant sense of limbic control.

The limbic part of the brain associates emotional content to life’s situations, causing us to either move towards those situations in safe embrace, or away from them in self-preservation. When the amygdala, the central part of the limbic brain, runs the show, then we tend to move away from life in fear and anger.


As an adult, I began to train in salsa dancing and came face to face with my limitations. My limbic functioning made me a difficult partner dancer. My desire to control the dance and minimize uncertainty caused me to fight against the male lead. I wanted to run the show.

My need to be the sole expression for maximum attention and validation made me a difficult follower. My belief that my solitary expression maximized my safety and minimized my risk created a wall between me, my partner and the cultural expression inherent in the dance. How could a good and seasoned dancer have such a difficult time with a new dance?

I lacked trust. Trust recruits and requires participation from the prefrontal cortex. Our brains need to produce oxytocin, sense that others have safe motives, override fear and protection responses and move away from limbic response. When the prefrontal cortex is engaged, it exerts control and has the power to inhibit the fear response.

This shift enabled me to look in my partner’s eyes and connect to the flow of the dance. I eased my sense of control and became and intuitive follower. I was able to read subtle intentions in the placement of a hand and know the next move in such fluid motion, it pre-empted conscious thought. I experienced creating an expression that was more than the sum of its parts.

“I” became “us,” and “us” became an organism in perfect motion through sound and space.

I entered states of flow, or no-thought, each time I danced. I became overjoyed with waves of endorphins and found abilities to tap into cultural expression I seemed to intuit. My mind and body felt younger. I had never known this side of dance, yet I’d been dancing my entire life.

This journey through expression illuminated the importance of overriding the limbic fear-based approach to life, and allowed me to embrace an inclusive and empathic mindset. I had been oblivious to the predominance of my brain structures, and as a result I danced alone. Once the prefrontal cortex is involved, and trust infuses each move and thought, there is little desire to move through sound, space and time in the same way ever again. Anything less, whether it’s in dance or life, seems compromising and limiting.

Are you tired of dancing alone? What more is possible if you were to move out of your own fear-based approach to life?


Lisa Wimberger holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Stonybrook, NY. She is a certified MBTI consultant and a private healing and psychic practitioner, teaching clients who suffer from stress disorders. Lisa studied Ascension training for four years with Ishaya monks. She completed two and a half years of psychic awareness training at ICI, applying the tools of the Berkeley Psychic Institute. She spent a year and a half in post-graduate studies and is certified in the Foundations of Neuro Leadership. Feel free to tell her your story and visit her website to learn more about how these techniques are targeted to First Responders. 

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Editors: Cassandra Smith/Kate Bartolotta


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