Dance or dancing. I love dancing from what I understand I was dancing in the crib. I had my days and nights mixed up. I supposed some of my first memories of dance were from seeing my parents dance. They would play their depression era slow songs and have a dance or two. It was a pleasant experience.
I see dance and music as intermarried. They are always together and have a difficult time surviving without one another.
I know when I dance I feel happy. It’s an enjoyable task. Sometimes when I feel sad or angry I dance and it makes me feel better. It interrupts my thought pattern and change the neuroplasticity of my brain. Of course dancing is a habit one must practice often.
Upon observation, I have noticed people enjoy dancing. It brings them to life. They smile, they laugh and of course it depends on what setting the dancing takes place. I remember as a young lady I saw many older adults and middle aged people dance to polka and it was always a joy fest. I so enjoyed watching them dance. Sometimes they danced the waltz or the two step. It was always a beautiful social event. As I got older I danced the polka a time or two. It was always tremendous fun.
Every Sunday morning my parents would play German polka music when we lived in Milwaukee, on 29th Street. Sometimes they would dance. It was grand fun. Mom and Dad danced as the aroma of coffee wafted through the kitchen. It was quite fine and we all laughed.
As a preteen I was shy and conscious of my appearance. I was skinny, flat chested with braces. I was nervous about drawing more attention to myself. Yet slowly but surely I practiced dancing in my room. I played Michael Jackson’s Thriller cassette tape so much I wore it out. I was actually quite an amazing dancer. I was the “dance” as Michael talked about. I loved it. It transported me into another world, one I truly loved.
I mostly enjoyed dancing in my room until I shared my talents at the dance hops where none of the boys would ask me to dance. Oh man I can still hear that piercing drum snare from Michael’s Billie Jean. Of course I had to pump up the volume to my father’s dismay. I got by!
I practiced and practiced. I began to master the spins, the kicks and the moonwalk. I took a modern dance class at El Paso Community College. I performed to “Smooth Criminal” and wowed the entire class. My teacher told me she had never seen anyone like me and that I was special. I was flattered and in retrospect realized I was channeling.
So dance became a part of me. It was a life-force I needed. I found during inadequately stressful times in my life I forgot to dance or was forced into submission of dread and conformity. That was sad yet I’ve never stopped dancing. Sometimes when I’m feeling really down in the dumps I turn on my 80’s music and start dancing. Depending upon what kind of mood I am in. I might dance literally and crazily just for a hoot. At times my cat Baby looks at me like, “What the hell?” I especially love making my family laugh. I’ve loved dancing for as long as I can remember. My sister used to say, “She’s dancing with Simon.” If I couldn’t find a partner I danced by myself. I was dancing with my….self oh oh oh oh!
I can say that one song that always makes me dance is “Come on Eileen!” It’s like a light switch goes on. I switch on. I go into a joyful fun state of mind. It’s delightful. I will add that on many occasions I have been the fire starter, the spark and the beginner of the party spirit. Let’s Dance!
I would like to parlay the subject in talking about how dance has been the foundation of so many cultural and spiritual celebrations. I will focus on the lighthearted. Many a circle has been formed around the fire and many a spell cast. Our ancestors celebrated fertility through dance. They celebrated harvest through dance. They celebrated marriage and rites of passage in dance. Have you ever been to a Pentecostal Church? Well I have. There’s a lot of dancing going on although I can’t tell the difference between a church ceremony and a Mardi Gras parade.
Cauldrons have been at the center of dancing in the woods. Happiness has predominated the emotions of newlyweds, retirees or new mothers dancing. In Scotland and Ireland where some of my family derives dancing with faeries is a time to rejoice. There’s dancing in pubs as well as homes of maidens.
Dancing is a cultural phenomenon. There are television shows that millions of people tune into on dance contests allover the world. Those shows are not my thing yet I can say dance is enthralling and thrilling to many a folks.
What I have observed about dancing is it is a signature of different tribes, it is ritualistic, spiritual, expressive, joyful and sad all at the same time. It is what we want to be. Who hasn’t become a true superstar at the club? I know I have.
I’ll choose to weave and bring in dance at any chance I get. I’ve always admired people who were adept in choreography which was always a challenge for me. Yet for now I’ll turn the switch to “you should be dancin’ yeah!”, “Come on, Vogue!”, “Come on Eileen!” or “Alejandro!” Come on now, “Let’s Dance!