The music and dance of Latin America absolutely captivate me. I love the rhythm, the voices, the passion, the warmth and the joyful feelings they exude.

As I learn Spanish, I am starting to understand the lyrics of these upbeat songs. To my surprise, they often speak of heartbreak, loved ones lost, brutal living conditions, loneliness and poverty.

I am amazed that Latin American people are able to embrace and transform their pain, anger and frustration into beautiful lyrics and music that invites you to dance, and feel joyful and alive.

Somehow, connecting pain with beauty transforms it. It becomes bittersweet, like music at a funeral, giving us the courage to experience instead of avoid our pain as discussed in the SPARK June edition. This opens the door to healing, leading us from despair to inspiration. It’s a gentle yet powerful way to move through difficult times.

How can you use this strategy in your own life? How can you transform your anger, frustration and sadness through music and dance? Here are some ideas to explore:

1. Find a private place where you will be uninterrupted for at least 15 minutes.
2. Choose some music that evokes and reflects your emotions. As it begins to play, take a few moments to connect with and fully experience your feelings.
3. Allow your body to describe the emotions through movement and sound. Let your emotions run through you like a river, using movement and sound as your guide.
4. As you move through the emotion, notice if a new song or rhythm emerges in you. If so, sing it out loud and let your body move in sync.
5. Continue until the emotional charge is released. Journal about your experience if you like.