Mie Moltke gave up her career as an elite dancer at her peak. It was not until she let go of being in control that she found the life-affirming joy in dance that gives her inner peace every day.
Owner of the dance studio Soulhouse and professional dancer in 'Vild med dans' (the Danish version of Strictly Come Dancing). She has published the book 'Bevæg Dit Liv' (Move Your Life) and hosts talks, workshops and retreats for women. Her next big event is for the TOGETHER NOW Women’s Festival at Folketeatret, Copenhagen in June 2022.
Dance has been a huge part of you for most of your life. But there came a point when you quit it completely – why?
- I spent most of my time as an elite dancer in competitions, trying to be in control and striving for perfection – it was pure self-destruction. I pushed myself so hard that I completely lost any sense of why I was dancing. It was all about being as perfect as possible, and this affected how I treated myself and my body. Finally, dance became something I only associated with pain, so I decided to stop while my career was at its peak.
”Dance is my way of breathing”
What did it take for you to rediscover the joy of dance?
- About 18 months later, the team behind 'Vild med dans' contacted me. It was fair enough that I'd stopped dancing professionally, but I missed that pure joy in dancing I'd had as a child. So I said 'yes’ and made a deal with myself to take part in one season only – that was 15 seasons ago.
Can you name a specific episode or person that made a big impression on you?
- Master Fatman, who I danced with in the second season of 'Vild med dans', really made a big impression on me. He showed me a different way of being in the world. He taught me that it’s okay to enjoy life.
Unlike previously, can you use dance today as something therapeutic and calming instead of controlling and self-destructive?
- Today, I use dance as therapy 100 percent of the time. Once I acknowledged, after a few years, that dance was my way of breathing, I could finally let go of being in control. Dance then became something completely different for me, and I became increasingly curious about how the body and mind are inextricably linked.
What does it mean for you to let go of control and maintain inner peace through our body's movements?
- It was a huge discovery to realise that all forms of control shut down emotions. So by daring to let go of control through movement and acknowledging myself I have achieved a tremendous sense of calm. It can be overwhelming to acknowledge your own feelings, but the calm lies in finding out that it's not dangerous to feel things.
Today, you're hosting workshops, retreats, courses and lectures – why is it important for you to help others learn how to deal with inner turmoil?
- It gives me a whole new dimension to be able to pass on my own experiences and to see myself in other women. All forms of competition disappear completely – in my teaching, it's about community and togetherness.