Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dancing Queen

This term I am carrying 18 credits, and one of them is ballroom dance. It is twice a week and almost exactly a 50/50 mix of girls and guys. I love it. Currently we are learning East Coast Swing, something I've done a little bit before in high school, back when there was a six person ballroom dance club during tutorial once a week.

I thoroughly enjoy this experience. The class always goes by so fast, and I enjoy dancing, in a way that I'm actually good at. It makes me laugh, which is a sure sign that I am simply joyful, enjoying what I'm doing.

Last Friday, as part of an assignment, I went to the weekly Ballroom Dance Club here, and, for four dollars got a lesson in the waltz and admittance to the dance. This is what the order of dances was for the evening.

Out of the evening, I had two observations worth noting. The first was rather minor, which is, guys that come with their girlfriends and trade partners dance better than guys who come single. Every time, that I could tell anyway.

The second was more complex. I realized, dancing with a random partner, in some split second during our lesson, how intimate and romantic dancing can be. This sounds obvious, but let me explain. When my eyes caught his, just for a moment, I could see how much love and trust and joy can go into a dance. I felt like I had a glimpse into a world beyond what I know, and I could why dancing is a powerful experience for couples. It is intimate, in a trusting, celebrating way. The joy I feel while dancing was meant to be shared and this let me see how. It was a remarkable half a second that has left me contemplating even now, days later.

I have one more observation, compiled from my class and from experience, one that I believe says a lot about me. I have a hard time following. It is an effort for me to let myself go, to turn from showing the way, to being more aware of my own body, and taking clues from the gentleman that is leading. When I can do it, and we just dance, it is wonderful. I don't have to worry about what we're doing, or what is next, I just move my body in the ways I've learned that correspond with the pressure I'm recieving. In this way, the art of dancing becomes an act of surrender, something humbling, requiring me to trust the person I'm with. It adds a new dimension, one I'm not really very good at, but one, when compiled with the rest of this experience, I enjoy enormously.

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