Auditions for the newest season of So You Think You Can Dance began on a strong note with the performance of 18 year old dancer Dani Plantz. Introducing her audition, the California native spoke about a two year period of her life where she was unable to dance because of her eating disorder. Her performance beautifully illustrates her strength and skill as a dancer while communicating her awakening in recovery.

In her introduction, Dani describes how she became judgmental of herself in her teens, believing she wasn’t good enough, and lacking appreciation for her life. She became so unhealthy she lost the most valuable expression she had, her dancing, which she had been doing since she was three. In treatment she found a loving community who helped her regain her strength, self-love and gratitude for dancing and life.

Judge Christina Applegate said: “It’s OK to be broken… you’re healing through dance, you’re healing by telling us your story. And by telling us your story, you’re healing so many girls in this room.”

Many people tend to think of dance as a fun way to stay in shape, or a beautiful skill like playing a musical instrument. But there is a dynamic connection between the movement of dance and physical or emotional well-being and healing. The art of dance can be a therapeutic, creative and transformative expression, as individuals revitalize and renew confidence in their bodies to address physical, emotional and spiritual challenges.

Watching Dani Plantz dance and knowing her struggle with an eating disorder makes her strength and technique even more compelling and beautiful. Dani has wonderfully demonstrated how recovery teaches us not only to love who we are but to express ourselves in ways which can undoubtedly have positive impact on others.

[cta]Use the hashtags #sytycd and/or #healing to tell us your responses to Dani’s performance, or share a creative expression which has helped you in recovery.[/cta]

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