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I stepped out of grief — by dancing with fire | Danielle Torley

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. After losing her mother in a house fire when she was just six years old, Danielle Torley saw two paths before her: a life full of fear, or one that promised healing and recovery. In this inspiring talk, she…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

After losing her mother in a house fire when she was just six years old, Danielle Torley saw two paths before her: a life full of fear, or one that promised healing and recovery. In this inspiring talk, she describes how she turned her grief into beauty in a most unexpected way — by dancing with fire.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

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41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hjgdf Gh

    November 27, 2020 at 9:14 am

    ‏من مر صدفة فَليصلي على النبي ﷺ.💙

  2. Avatar

    bravojr

    November 27, 2020 at 9:16 am

    She’s not hot, because she is skilled.

  3. Avatar

    Ursus Deus

    November 27, 2020 at 9:24 am

    🖤

  4. Avatar

    JessicaDarling2

    November 27, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m beyond proud of you for overcoming your intense trauma. 💪🏻✨❤️❤️❤️

  5. Avatar

    سیروس مریدی

    November 27, 2020 at 9:33 am

    گفت (اتش) بی سبب نفروختم
    دعوی بی معنی ات را سوختم

  6. Avatar

    Jonathan Dee The One And Only

    November 27, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Who were the 37 people that disliked this video?

    • Avatar

      ThatOneGirl

      November 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      There’s always going to be plenty of people to rain on your parade.
      They dislike Everything _because they dislike themselves._
      Very likely their parents made them this way.
      Don’t give it a 2nd thought… …except maybe to wish them well.

  7. Avatar

    Jevgenija Sinkevic

    November 27, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    I cried…

  8. Avatar

    Lisa Love Ministries

    November 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Seek a personal fellowship with Christ daily.
    Romans 10:9
    1 Corinthians 15

    • Avatar

      InMaTeofDeath

      November 27, 2020 at 12:58 pm

      Hail Zeus the one true God!

  9. Avatar

    bhargava pothakamuri

    November 27, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    The thrill that releases adrenalin to the endorphins that are released by looks of the mesmerised, helped her overcome the grief.

  10. Avatar

    Sudarshan Mahadev

    November 27, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    So inspiring. I know how terrible it feels before facing my fears and I know I powerful I feel after facing it.

  11. Avatar

    YouAndImpact

    November 27, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Great video 👍।

  12. Avatar

    Escape the Matrix

    November 27, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Great story. Thanks.

  13. Avatar

    GhostOnHiatus

    November 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    The thing about trauma, when you’ve gone through a particular event, your body protects you by making you fearful of similar events. Its just the ego/brain protecting itself. Been bullied by people? You might start avoiding people.. Been hurt with a loud explosion? Your body will amp up the anxiety around loud noises. It’s all in the name of self protection, cant blame the body really its kind of logical..
    But its not logical to carry on through life with this fear and for that fear to shape so much of our existence and personality. It may have just been one event but your body tells you its EVERYTHING to protect itself.
    The only real way to overcome trauma is to put yourself in the very thing that scares you, you need another example for your brain to realise that it will not always be bad, and that particular event was just that… a particular event.
    The Child Brain definitely can not come to this realisation, as they are experiencing life as brand new, and whatever happens in these early years, it tells itself will always happen. This is the biggest lie.
    When a person protects themselves through isolation from feeling unloved… When you take extra careful steps for avoidance of an event happening again, you are really living a lie based of one example. What comes next is learning to trust yourself enough and throw yourself into the very thing that scares you, its only then you can start to heal cause your mind has a more up to date example.
    When you were unloved, you have to teach yourself to love others, to let others love you, to heal that pain.
    If you were abused you have to trust yourself to put yourself in the company of others, it wont happen again.
    Thinking it will happen again is usually what brings it back to keep happening again and again.
    Fear of abandonment? you will probably push people away because of that, which is only further abandonment so it becomes self perpetuating…. where attention goes, energy flows.
    You can really only heal by using the very thing that traumatised you, as a source of healing.
    If its women that have hurt you, you have to find and allow a woman to love you… you have to train yourself into a different story than the one you are telling yourself.
    Humanity will get a lot further in all of our individual torments when we realise this.
    Fear is tool that should be used to learn from, not abused.
    Don’t let fear abuse you.

    This woman did just that.

    • Avatar

      ThatOneGirl

      November 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      I had to screenshot this comment because it was so good. I hope Everyone takes a second look at this comment. It was worth the time to read.

    • Avatar

      Nina J

      November 28, 2020 at 12:09 am

      Ok, maybe I need to find out how to let other people physically restrain me after I lost faith in life and tried to numb myself with medication, yet I ended in the ER and woke up in a sanatorium (literary, as they are still like that in my country) while being physically restrained and cried for help or for anyone to notice I’m there for the timeframe where it felt like forever. From then on, I’ve been more and more anti-psychiatry and medication in general (for treating human emotional suffering). So, should I recreate the One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in real life, or?

    • Avatar

      GhostOnHiatus

      November 30, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      @Nina J see you are doing the same thing. You had one horrendous experience so now you think its all bad. Thats the lie our brain formulates. And no you do not need to be restrained, you probably can’t even hear what you saying cause you are stuck in a place of pain. you just need to learn to trust people, and to trust yourself. The fact is you tried to harm yourself and its procedure to restrain someone in that state. Tool yourself up with information so you can live better within yourself, so this won’t happen again. Love yourself so much, that you will only have people that love you around you, so if you are near this type of situation again, you have people you love and trust that knows what’s good for you, if you can’t do it alone.
      It’s the fear is what you need to heal. You are probably living in a kind of torment if you are anti psychiatry but have gone through something as horrendous as that, who will you speak to? Who will help you understand whats happened to your beliefs and fears and what trauma you taken on if it won’t be a professional? Let alone the trauma you had that led up to that point..
      We are growing as a species, there is so much we used to do that doesn’t serve us now, so much we used to do in the name of help that was actually hurting us. Psychiatrist, medication and doctors are learning too, we are a bunch of kids with tools and we are kinda just… trying things. So we get A LOT wrong, same as you have got a lot wrong. Our elders, professional and skilled people are not superior to anyone else. Our knowledge grows as a collective, so maybe you’d be offered much more better help now, than you did before. No I want you to reread what you wrote. Read it from the perspective as that is someone completely else, not you. Can you see? And it ok if you don’t, you just need to be guided.
      (Every trauma you can think up, I’ve been through, I’m not talking down to you I’m coming from compassion)
      And I love you whole lot, so go learn to do the same, you deserve yourself.

    • Avatar

      Nina J

      November 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      @GhostOnHiatus Ok, so it means I can’t harm myself, and it’s better for them to do it instead? They at least have legal rights… And they are the ones who think and act like they are superior, I didn’t invent that, at least not that, if I am wrong in any other case. Every professional so far talked down on me and drugged me no matter how I felt about their treatment. I only now got a new one who’s at least humble and respectful and works with my kind of neurodivergent mind. Also, my 3 chronic conditions are invisible, so others have even more freedom to mock me and shame me as their style of help/treatment. Professionals most of all. My trauma is, among the others before that kind, that when I needed the help most, the ones that had my life in their hands made me even more traumatized. Now, why on Earth should I absolve them? Why they should always get away with every single thing they do?

    • Avatar

      GhostOnHiatus

      November 30, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      @Nina J ok I give up, maybe my truth is not yours. Sending love either way

  14. Avatar

    Gathece Josh

    November 27, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    thank you for this channel.I have been praying and even judging myself and God on what the problem is but i still pray no matter what.
    Honestly since corona started i have tried my best after my job was put off . My supplies are off. my family is only my mum and she is upcountry with no money,my friends have all left me.I have sold nearly all items in my house apart from my bed and laptop….Trust me sir i Have..It just options and desperations that make people to do certain things and its hurts me most to do this.but i still have to look strong to my kid although im hurting inside..I know in faith and truth i will be assisted by someone and i will rise up to this rock bottom. i wake up to look for minial jobs at least to get money for amenities..Dry food is the issue and if i could be assisted with 6000 ksh(60 dollars) i could buy grains like rice and ugali that lasts a month.The rest i will work for it while trying to get another job.That is my hope.kindly listen to my plea please .asante Insha Allah

  15. Avatar

    Inoffensive Name

    November 27, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    🔥 🔥 🔥 💯

  16. Avatar

    FairuzaBalk420

    November 27, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    She went back for the dog 😭😭😭😭😭😭

  17. Avatar

    Danielle

    November 27, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Ayyyy fire dancers unite

  18. Avatar

    Kam Skylight

    November 27, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    she had a very sad past , life is like that always

  19. Avatar

    Creepzza

    November 27, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Such a cool story. So sorry about your mom.

  20. Avatar

    Big Dee

    November 27, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Another victim story …. yawn

  21. Avatar

    Madison Acri

    November 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I just started burning. Dancing with fire has changed me. Empowered me. Saved me.

  22. Avatar

    Carla Lussini

    November 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Uncle Iroh would be proud

  23. Avatar

    CJV KND A7XCË-0

    November 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    I should’ve known I was going to cry from this just from “Grief” in the title. That was such a sad story, but it was beautiful that she was able to be resilient and heal through it all. That’s real strength and bravery.

  24. Avatar

    TOY BOX BRAIN

    November 27, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    It’s called money and inheritance.

  25. Avatar

    Russell Todd

    November 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing this journey.

  26. Avatar

    Joshdampier

    November 28, 2020 at 2:20 am

    Title screams i have way to much money amd time on my hands

  27. Avatar

    SWEETGA BROWNIN

    November 28, 2020 at 4:28 am

    What a beautiful and artistic way to have come this far to overcome your trauma…bless you💙💙🙏🏽

  28. Avatar

    mark amburgey

    November 28, 2020 at 6:37 am

    almost cute but very boring

  29. Avatar

    Tristan Anderson

    November 28, 2020 at 11:07 am

    TED used to be good, showcasing innovative ideas, now it’s filled with fluff stories like this.

    • Avatar

      ThatOneGirl

      November 29, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      “Fluff stories” like How to Get Through the Human Experience with Resilience and Determination to Make it Positive and Rewarding.

      I couldn’t disagree with the original post more.

  30. Avatar

    Karen Lucas

    November 28, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    First Ted talk that has moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing your story of hope and reminding me that I have a choice.

  31. Avatar

    will martinez

    November 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    WOW WOW AMAZING thank you 🙏 ! You just gave me a little encouragement to move a bit forward without slipping !!!
    Many blessings thank you !!!

  32. Avatar

    David Tyler

    November 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Beautiful view. I lost my son and my grief was so powerful! I found my way out, but I will never forget.

  33. Avatar

    Christopher Gruenwald

    December 1, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Working smoke detectors save lives. Everyone, check yours monthly and replace the batteries yearly.

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