5 Questions ... with Anica Wood | Healing power in dance
Anica Wood has lived the healing power of dance. The trauma of an older relative questioning the purpose of her dancing made Anica quit the Wolmer's Dance Troupe before she became a teenager. She would be in her third decade before resuming formal training, finally satisfying the tension of an almost irrepressible desire to be on stage and coming to terms with what Wood eventually recognised as depression over the childhood put-down. Still, Anica did not quit moving in the two decades in-between mandatory toe points as she 'Logged On', 'Onlined' and 'World Danced' at parties, family gatherings and at home alone in addition to being a professional Zumba fitness instructor. However, after becoming a Christian three years ago, the moves she now does are with Praise Academy of Dance are for the Lord.
1. Why do you cry when you dance?
"I cry because dancing is a communication of the soul. It is really an expression of different emotions - of joy, of impurities to be released. I cry sometimes when I dance to spiritual music. It is a form of therapy for me."
2. Are you naturally very flexible, or has dancing made a difference?
"Ever since I have known myself, I have always been naturally flexible. I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with dancing because it was really last year that I started dancing again formally for the first time in 22 years, and I still managed to maintain the natural flexibility while I was out of formal training. Whether I am active or not, the flexibility is always there."
3. What are three songs you would like to dance to and why?
"Scars to Your Beautiful (Alessia Kara). It is an uplifting song that has a positive message for persons who are insecure about their physical appearance. It encourages one to embrace their inner beauty rather than the exterior. Don't Count Me Out (Jermaine Edwards). It is a song that I can relate to very well because it speaks to going through low seasons in one's life but having the determination to persevere and become a victor. Brown Skin (Queen Ifrica). I think that Queen Ifrica is a powerful female artiste. I particularly love this song because many people nowadays are doing unhealthy alterations to their skin tone due to the fact that they are lacking acceptance of their true skin colour. I believe being black is beautiful. We should keep it real and be proud of who we are."
4. Are men, Christian and non-Christian, attracted to you when you dance, and how do you deal with it?
"Yes. However, it is not much of an issue for me. It is not as if I have 100 guys pursuing me. However, I am open to a relationship if the right person comes along."
5. How do you see the healing power of dance?
"My personal encounters since I started dancing for the Lord have been very interesting and quite a learning experience. I have experienced physical and emotional healing for myself by merely dancing. Let us say that I am not feeling well - I have used dancing as a tool to counter illness and negative emotions. By playing a song that is linked to my situation, I have danced with the intention of receiving healing or deliverance, and, to my surprise, I would feel myself going through a process of restoration. I remember once my sister was ill, and I asked the Lord to heal her by way of me ministering to her through dance. So I prayed and danced for her, and she became gradually healed."