Here are some of our favorite quotes and poems about dance, life, and inspiration.




The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.


The body achieves what the mind believes.


Take time to work - it is the price of success!


Do what you think you cannot do.


Dance isn't a form; it's a way of life.


Dancers are the athletes of God.

Albert Einstein

We dance for laughter,

We dance for tears,

We dance for madness,

We dance for fears.

We dance for hopes,

We dance for screams,

We are the dancers,

We create the dreams.


Dance when you're broken open.

Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.


Dance, in the middle of the fighting.

Dance, in your blood.

Dance, when you're perfectly free.

Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi

I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.

George Balanchine

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

Martha Graham (1894-1994) US dancer, choreographer

The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word.

Mata Hari

Then comes the lights shining on you from above.

You are a performer.


You forget all you learned,


the process of technique,


the fear, the pain,


you even forget who you are,


you become one with the music, the lights,


indeed one with the dance.

Shirley MacLaine

The Dancer believes that his art has something to say which cannot be expressed in words or in any other way than by dancing...there are times when the simple dignity of movement can fulfill the function of a volume of words.

There are movements which impinge upon the nerves with a strength that is incomparable, for movement has power to stir the senses and emotions, unique in itself.

This is the dancers' justification for being, and his reason for searching further for deeper aspects of his art.

Doris Humphrey, 1937

Dancers work and live from the inside.  They drive themselves constantly, producing a glow that lights not only themselves, but audience after audience.

M. Louis

Artists lead unglamourous daily lives of discipline and routine, but their work is full of passion.  Each has a vision and feels responsibility to that vision.

Merryl Brockway

Dance is your pulse,

your heartbeat,

your breathing.


It's the rhythm of your life.


It's the expression in time and movement,

in happiness, joy, sadness, and envy.

Jaques D'ambroise

Dance is the only art of which we, ourselves, are the stuff of which it is made.

Ted Shawn

Dance is music made visible.

George Balanchine

Jazz dance is interpreting music.  It's my obligation to the musician to express what he feels when he's playing.  It all boils down to the relationship of the movement to the music.

Frank Hatchett

Jazz, itself is a feeling, an honest, personal feeling, inspired by soulful music. The source of jazz is inside. Jazz cannot be found in a pose, or a leap, or a bump, or a grind. It’s not a series of ‘jazz steps’. Jazz must be an honest expression of a musical soul. Jazz dance is moving with that feeling through a safe and effective technique. Never force an extension or back arch. Nothing should hurt. Technique is like tuning an instrument; learn to tune your body just right, so that when you go to play it, it’s beautiful. Never stop moving. Even when you are standing still, feel the movement inside.

Luigi, jazz dance legend, NYC 1993

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words.

Ruth St. Denis

Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad.

Chinese Proverb

To dance is to be out of yourself.  Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.  This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.

Agnes De Mille

Dancers are instruments - like a piano the choreographer plays.

George Balanchine

You can't see a painter or a writer or a musician by just looking at them, but you can see a dancer in a child if they've studied ballet for a year.


The Dancer and the Dance movie

The people who do not dance are the dead.

Jerry Rose of Dance Caravan

Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.


If you say you can - you can.

If you say you can't - you're right!

Anonymous (although Miss Cara says this a lot!)

Dance for yourself.  If someone understands, good.  If not, then no matter.  Go right on doing what you love.

Lois Hurst

Ballet is not technique, but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner language of man than any other.


George Borodin

All there is to be said for work compared to dance is that the latter is so much easier.

Heywood Brown

Why do I dance...why do I breathe?


Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful.  But the path to paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other.  There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep.  There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths.

Martha Graham (1894-1994) US dancer, choreographer

If it is to be, it is up to ME.



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