tonight i had the joy of doing something i haven’t done for at least six years.
i went swing dancing.
big band music is just fun, you know? it makes you want to tap your toes even if you hadn’t previously discovered you possessed a sense of rhythm. east coast swing can get pretty fast and furious, but it’s a joy to watch people who know what they’re doing do it well.
(and, i might add, it’s great fun to do it yourself even if you have next to no idea what you’re doing.)
when i was 16-18 i used to go to louis & company, a local dance studio, semi-regularly with friends from church for louis’ east coast lessons and open swing night. during one of my last years in theatre i even took a class in swing dancing. i loved it. i loved spinning ’til i was dizzy and dancing ’til i was sweating more than i care to think about. oh, it was great! even if i couldn’t jump and went stiff as a fish any time i got dipped.
then all the guys we knew who knew how to dance went off to college and got girlfriends and got married, and there went our dancing dreams. but such is life. : )
looking back at what i remember of myself toward the end of high school i’m surprised i ever got up the nerve to go in the first place. you think i don’t talk much now? well, i didn’t talk even more back then. i was very much the shy quiet mouse wallflower who is always inevitably in the way no matter where she stands girl.
okay, not that i’m not that now. i still seem to always be standing the wrong place at the wrong time somehow. i’ll just say it’s a talent and put it on my resume. : )
i was glad i went tonight. there were lots of times in that six years between that i wanted to go swing dancing or complained to my mom about my inability to go, lack of a dance partner, lack of motivation, lack of money, etc. once when i had an opportunity, though, i wimped out and didn’t go. (attack of the wallflower, oui?) but this time i went and had fun … even if i had to make myself take deep breaths in the parking lot in order not to panic.
i got to dance with one of the really, really amazing louis & co. swingster performers and while he was teaching (or trying to teach) me west coast swing he said “relax, amelia.”
i loved watching the girls in my group dance and the gleeful, carefree way they made up their own steps if they didn’t know the ones everyone else was doing. i had a swell time (to use a very 1940s phrase), but as i drove home i thought about what the swingster had said.
not just in dancing, but in all of life.
for me, what does that place of relaxation look like, and how do i get there and stay there?
and if i’m not anywhere near being relaxed, how did i get to that point of tension or quiet panic?
a good question to chew on for a while. but in the meantime …
i love dancing.