Life’s Music in the Body


In a 14-day whirlwind filled with little sleep and lots of caffeine, I travelled with photographer Gregory Bartning from Los Angeles up the coast to Seattle, interviewing 25 dancers and hosting five public events to finish and promote our Dancing Over 50 Project, a series of interviews and photographs with over 50 dancers over age 50 along the West Coast. This project has been in the works for over two years, and by next summer we hope to turn this puppy into a signed, sealed and delivered book!

The previously finished interviews are available in full here, but I want to share a sneak peek of some words of wisdom collected on our recent journey. Over the past two weeks, I have been sharing a favorite quote and photo from each of the newest interviewees. In other words, read on!

part3 recap

Naomi Gedo Diouf

On motivation:

“Dance heals your body and mind. It’s a medicine, a spiritual enlightenment. When you say you’re done dancing, something is wrong. Whatever you are feeling, dance is that feeling made visible. It’s a beautiful thing to feel life’s music in your body.”

NAOMI_GEDO_DIOUF cropped square

Stella Matsuda

On legacy:

“You touch people’s lives by what you do. It may be simple, but it’s about sharing. It’s moving someone who’s not moving. It’s transferring energy.”

STELLA_MATSUDA cropped square

Jim McGinn

On advice:

“A lot of dancers have what I call ballet damage. And so my plea to them is to keep their aesthetic doors open. Whether you have ballet damage, Catholic damage or football damage, you can get over it and move on.”

JIM_MCGINN cropped square

Josie Moseley

On pursuing dance:

“You can’t walk into dance with any assurances. You have to walk into it with blind faith. But I trust dance.”

JOSIE_MOSLEY cropped square

Anandha Ray

On continuing:

“Dance is in the mind as much as it is in the body. I will have to redefine the way I dance as I grow older, but I will never leave. It’s my worst fear to not be able to move. But if I couldn’t move, I would still be dancing in my mind.”

ANANDHA_RAY cropped square

Deborah Slater

On motivation:

“It’s getting harder. There’s so much less money. I look at people who have gone on to other jobs and I wonder why I couldn’t have gone on to something else that was interesting. There’s much that interests me. But I was always determined to be a dance artist in the Bay Area. New York had plenty of dancers. That stubbornness has kept me going.”

DEBORAH_SLATER cropped square

Cynthia Winton Henry

On success:

My success is: am I feeling healthy? Is my community porous to reality and to making things? Are we making things that feel truthful? And does that making feel like an offering of some sort?”


Pre-purchase your own copy of “Beauty is Experience: Dancing 50 and Beyond.” Expected delivery late 2016.Dancing Over 50 - final- low res --page-001

One Response to “Life’s Music in the Body”

  1. Frances Endres

    So incredibly inspiring. Keep up the good work. I’m still loving dance at 70 after a lifetime of it, never finding another artistic outlet that I could cling to.

    Please see Diane Davisson Dancers on facebook. She is located in West L.A. and is a fabulous tap dancer.

Comments are closed.