About a week or so ago, I turned down my first dance. The very sweet son of a friend asked me to dance at a wedding, and I said "no." I know...so bad. Like anyone was watching anyway. It was nearly dark...about half of the wedding guests had been served a cocktail or two (not me...which also explained my hesitation), and I was among friends. But I just couldn't get past what I perceived I would look like shaking it out there. Picture Chris Farley in a dress...and that's pretty close to what I felt like.
As a very little girl, I would dance on the feet of the men in my family to songs like Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" or something playing on Lawrence Welk. I started dancing lessons at age three...primarily to run down some of the extreme energy I was blessed with (and my mother was thereby cursed with). I twirled in front of the television so much that I would block everyone's view. I finally took it outside when I was in the third grade after exasperating my grandmother beyond belief and just turned cartwheels in the grass or went around and around until I was dizzy. This might also explain why I grew up feeling like I got on everybody's nerves. Precisely because I DID.
In grammar school (now known as elemenary school), my friends and I learned the robot and flung ourselves around to songs like "Kung Fu Fighting" at various spend the night parties. School dances started shortly thereafter...such as they were. When Saturday Night Fever came out, I practiced endlessly...too young for a disco, and too uncoordinated to brave much of it in public. But hey, as for calorie burning...it was a half decent workout. Plus, the music was good. I still hear "Disco Inferno" and have to fight the urge to move.
In college, at the SandTrap Lounge in Macon, GA, we could dance with the regulars and had a good time on the dance floor. We weren't especially talented...but we had a great time. At Troy, I danced from time to time at a swap or in the dreaded Modern Dance class (I was particularly heinous at this style of dance).
I did not dance at my wedding. Our reception was at the Fellowship Hall of the church...and we did not have a deejay or live band. As a married person, I have not had much occasion to dance. Big Dave is many wonderful things...but he is NOT a dancer. So, I'm not only rusty...I'm impossibly rusty.
In my mind, I am able to dance and enjoy myself...and not look like a lunatic doing it. I am able to cut loose and have fun. As I've gotten heavier, I've also gotten more self-conscious. I hope to change that...on both counts.
So, if you see me dancing down an aisle at the local Publix, or while I am doing housework or filing...it is because I figure...hey...why not? I never move if there's a big crowd around...because people would laugh...hysterically. But, it's good exercise, and I'm celebrating the fact that I can still move fairly freely. But to do it other than solo? Well, that's a little harder to do!
I remember my grandmother moving everytime that music would come on in her house. She loved to dance. I don't remember my mother dancing much growing up...but I do know that she is fairly addicted to "Dancing With the Stars" now. The women in our family appear to marry men who do not dance...which is a bit sad. My daughter is not much of a dancer either. She goes to dances and talks. But at my nephew's wedding in 2007, she and her cousin got out on the dance floor and she just laughed and smiled and had a wonderful time. I hope and pray that whoever she ends up is a good dancer and will get her out there more. I don't want her to miss that.
If you have the opportunity to dance...dance. I hope that I'll be asked again someday...and if I am...I hope that I won't embarrass myself too much if I say yes...or embarrass someone else if I say no. But if I do choose to dance...I know I'll look more like a frog in a blender...with no offense meant to frogs...or blenders...than a graceful dancer. Just the same...it is my opinion that we are all born to dance.
Jill and Big Dave are taking a ballroom dance class or two at Christmas. She took the Cotillion program when she was in junior high, and knows enough to manage dancing with her Dad. She never got into the whole "booty dancing" thing (thankfully)...so I think that her comfort zone is the slow dance. Frankly, at my age...it may be mine as well.
As was said in a popular song a few years ago..."I Hope You Dance"...there's something freeing about dance that connects us with something outside of ourselves. It is active and joyful and even biblical in the Psalms. Dancing is a way to connect with others...through movement...by way of music. Can we forget Heather Whitestone of Alabama when competing for the Miss America title dancing although hearing impaired? There is a particular beauty to dance that awes us or inspires us.
And if you want something totally hilarious...look for "History of Dance" on YouTube. I laugh every time I see it.
But as for me...I just want to reconnect with the younger me who loved moving to music. The girl who had fun with her friends dancing around and laughing. The college girl who moved to Rick James and The Gap Band. I'd like to find her again...