Bio: Melissa Drake is a proud single mama who made the transition from living for others to finding her true self and serving others while making her dreams come true. She lives life knowing “everything is happening perfectly” and accepts life’s tough transitions as redirection and an opportunity to experience a more fulfilling life. When middle-age life and an empty next presented a wake-up call in the form of two concurrent chronic illnesses and a job loss after a 25-year career, she turned to social media and dancing for a reprieve. The results included recovery from a lifetime of depression, a cross-country move from the Midwest to California, full-time entrepreneurship, and a TEDx Talk, “The Dance of Collaboration.” That talk inspired this book. Melissa writes, edits, speaks, and leads workshops helping others expand and realize their dreams. Connect with her at collaborativeaf.com.
Summary: In TranscenDANCE: Lessons from Living, Loving, and Dancing, author Melissa Drake invites the reader to discover and share in the subtle and not so subtle lead of the Universe through dance. In TranscenDANCE, Drake unfurls a narrative which is part memoir and part self-help relating dance to complex life stories and themes including trauma, codependency, self-sabotage, mental health, addictions, and recovery. Drake interweaves anecdotes and autobiographical info to share how dance transpired to help her inspire others. She revisits childhood wounds, unearths adult stressors, and witnesses daily obstacles that, eventually, she learned to accept with a cosmically-aided dos-à-dos. Dance for Drake is not about ignoring or repressing life’s challenges but about remembering to also celebrate life’s gifts—to celebrate life itself. And becoming transcendent via dance is a superbly eye-opening, body-freeing, spirit-awakening form of celebration.
TranscenDANCE reminds us that there’s awesome power in being supported and supporting others, universal facets intrinsic to dance itself. Drake asserts that dance is a medicine that’s collaborative, communal, intimate; it’s about leading, following, partnering, soloing, creating, and co-creating. And at any time in our life, at any point, we can subscribe to the notion—the offer, acceptance, and challenge—to dance into and then through our concerns, our difficulties, our resistance. We can let go of past regrets and future-tripping and be present on the dance floor of life, in the universal flow of rhythm and spirit. If we can allow ourselves to be led by transcendent energy—if we can dance with life’s song instead of ignore it or close our minds, hearts, and bodies against it—then we can live a fuller life, enlivened and powerfully present.