Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dancing fool finis.....or not

"Those who dance are considered insane by those
who cannot hear the music.” 
George Carlin
This is a hard one. It has been percolating for weeks, working its way to the forefront of my attention, and now clamors to be released. The writing process for me is much like a coffee pot in that respect, the idea getting hotter and hotter, my attention turning to it more frequently the higher the internal temperature rises, until I simply cannot keep my fingers off the keyboard no matter how hot those keys are. Or how much it hurts to release the lid of the pot.
George's words caught my attention, because I feel a bit insane right now. Many of you will remember when this Dancing Fool was born [http://agedtoperfectiondeborahhansen.blogspot.com/2011/05/dancing-fool.html] the day my feet dragged me into a dance studio as my "one thing I had never done" for that month. It was April 28, 2011. And my life changed forever.
I was 62 years old and I was terrified of dancing. I had been my entire life. You know how it is, I know you do: We think everyone is watching us, judging us, even laughing at our awkward attempts to move our feet and bodies in time with the music. (I learned that they aren't. They're only thinking about their own clumsy feet, but that's a topic for another day.)
I have become more adventurous as I aged, but I really only intended to take that one lesson and quickly check it off my bucket list. Life has its way with us, though, and I signed up for dozens of lessons with my instructor, a young man who taught me the basics of the waltz, tango, cha cha, swing, hustle, and salsa. No one was more surprised than me at these new turns on the dance floor.
He moved to another studio and I followed. I brought him a new student, a man who later became more than a potential dance partner. (He was only taking lessons to....well, that really is a story for another day.) My instructor put on an open house, and he and I danced the waltz in front of my friends and family, a magical experience for me that proved that you CAN teach a not-so-young woman new things.

I learned to trust someone else to lead. I learned to listen and not talk, even if I disagreed with the instruction given. I learned to stop thinking and just move, a torturous thing for someone who has lived solely in her head. I learned to smile and never stop moving. I learned to continue to move forward and not look back. My body literally changed shape as a result of using it in new ways. My love of music now has a physical manifestation that is wondrously satisfying to me. All of this was unexpected and brought such beauty to my life. For those two hours every week, I was transported to another place, one that transcended my problems, my irritations, my every day life.

The result? I can now walk onto the dance floor and do just about any dance anyone wishes to do. In fact, I can't stop moving, as those around me can attest. My feet and my body sway, tap, twirl, accompanied by a beat no one but me hears.
Which makes the sudden, ripping away of my dance lessons even more difficult. The details are not important to anyone but me, I'm sure. We trust people, and then we find out we shouldn't have, but would we have done anything differently if it meant never experiencing it at all?

 I will never regret dancing my way into a new life, filled with beauty and grace. No, I wouldn't change any of this for a second, regardless of its difficult end.

I guess George was right about the insanity.

"You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer,
and understand, for all that is life.”


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