Friday, January 20, 2012

Dancing fool, part 5

It has been such an unusual experience. My love affair with dance, specifically ballroom and Latin dance, caught me totally off guard about 9 months ago. If you recall, I walked into a dance studio on April 28, 2011 to take ONE dance lesson. It was part of my monthly "do something I've never done before" adventure that has brought me such joy and rejuvenation.

That ONE lesson has turned into 9 far....and I anticipate the lessons will continue as long as I can scrape up the money for them. I made a conscious decision to set aside all other purchases, like the iPhone I was about to buy right then, or any new clothes that weren't essential, and certainly no new shoes. And I haven't regretted that decision for a second.

When asked why I love this art form so much, I have no answer. I can't even explain it to myself when no one is around to hear my rambling. All I know is that my twice-weekly dance lessons are the highlight of my week, my life actually. I've gone from being an up-tight woman who has lived her entire life enmeshed in intellectual effort and have embraced movement without thought (well, at least I instructor would differ on how much progress I've actually made, I'm sure). 

So, when I came across this reading in a book that I'm working my way through this year, I was struck with how closely it does mirror how I feel about dance in my life. I hope the author doesn't mind that I'm making a few changes; I'll give her full credit before we leave:

     Just being on the dance to reach the place where the only thing that exists is the sound and the moving with the sound. The music...that was outside of you is now within you, and moves through you;  you are a channel for the music, and move from the center of your being. Everything that you have consciously learned, all of your knowledge, emanates from you. There is a sense of oneness in which the heart of the dancer and heart of the music meet, in which there is no room for self-conscious thought. You are one with yourself and that act...... and you are effortlessly releasing it. The music is in your body, in the air, in the room, the music is everywhere, and the whole universe is contained in the experience of dancing.

I have always been closely connected to music. It touches me deeply in many ways. Perhaps moving to music is the connection that I was missing all my life.

I am so grateful that now I have movement through which to touch music right back.The circle has been completed.

How can we know the dancer from the dance?
William Butler Yeates
The original was entitled The Music by Mildred Chase, as quoted in 365 Nirvana: Here and Now, edited by Josh Baran.

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