Alone. And dancing.
I know that I’m happy when I’m dancing. But sometimes I force myself to dance so I feel happy again.
Here’s what happens when I’m dancing. It’s hard to start sometimes because I can’t think of what song I really want to dance to. When I was a little girl in 5th grade, when everyone would leave the house for a few hours, I would put on the same record. This black/white record with Mozart and Beethoven’s faces on the front of it. and I would dance. Mainly to the same song by Mozart. And I would pretend that I was a ballerina with all the inspired moves that I didn’t know the names of but they looked ballerina-ish to me. I could do that for hours and never get bored just whirling around on the wood floor in the big ole log cabin and it’s drafty big living room and cold stone fireplace that could never heat up the house but looked snazzy. And the baby grand piano in the corner (yup – my parents were a mix of opposites – log cabins and baby grand pianos) where I learned how to play little peasant songs by Bartok taught by this mousy Wesleyan college student who was sweet and had short pixieish hair. The songs were very simple but beautiful and elegant and authentically far away sounding.
That is what dancing is to me. being alone. Moving the way the music inspires you to move. Losing yourself. In a trancelike state. Not caring how weird you look or how sentimental or saucy or raucous or awkward. I think dancing is good for the soul because you take that ‘fuck it’ attitude with you wherever you go after you dance. Fuck how I look. Fuck it if I want to stick my ass out and be sexy. Fuck it if I make an ass out of myself and say something stupid. Fuck it if I want to be refined and sophisticated for a moment, too. Just fuck it.
And I feel strong. I feel my legs rising behind my ass and I feel my butt muscles tighten and my hip joints are free and loose. I make a nice line with my leg extended out in front of me. I lift my leg up high like a ballerina would and realize I’m 47 but I still can move like a 20 year old if I want to. I realize that my body is beautiful and graceful and I haven’t lost ‘it.’ and I like who I am a little bit more. Sometimes a lot more. And I look in the mirror at my body moving and realize that it’s not vanity to enjoy how you look. You’re just appreciating a work of art that has evolved from thousands and thousands of years of evolution. The human body is an amazing instrument and we’re fucking lucky that we have them and we should appreciate them and feel them and move them exercise them and take care of them and use them to their potential and not sit on our asses all the time ignoring their needs. Because if you make your body happy, it will make you happy but it’s all too easy to forget when the fucking demands of work keep you fucking changed to a chair too much. So get up and dance and take whatever breaks you can. And turn on music because there is nothing wrong with forgetting about all the shit there will always be to do. Dancing is good for the soul. To be honest, a lot of times dancers get this reputation – right? – of being airheads. It’s true. Oh you’re a dancer? You use your body? Oh, you’re not as intelligent as me. me! i! who use words and language and wit and verbal prowess. Well I’m sorry. I think dancers are some of the most intelligent people around. They’re intelligent because they use their body and their mind. Not just their mind. They’re intelligent because they listen to the instinctual urges of their body and they’ve found a way to temper them to do their mind’s bidding while the rest of us run around at the mercy of whatever our bodies tell us to do. Eat a gallon of ice cream? Ok. Live on coffee and forget to drink water? Ok. Dumb. Dum dums. That’s what I think of anyone who thinks that a dancer or dancing is dumb. Dancing is the mind in sync with the unconscious in a living, breathing art form. It’s like acting but even better. Because it’s often devoid of words and so it tells stories through pictures. Pictures created by the body. Often abstract but very real nonetheless. And it’s moving. It can be very moving. It’s literally moving but it’s emotionally moving. Like a voice in song. Like music that carries emotions to your heart without words…a body in motion carries emotions, too. Emotions that go beyond words. Pictures that evoke feelings that haven’t been named yet but the dancer calls them into being with their body. That is what dancing means to me. do you think trump can dance? Probably not. But he should learn how and if he did, the world would be in a better state than it’s in at the moment.