Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dancing in the Dark

Night Clubs are dark for a reason. They serve alcohol for the same reason (besides extraordinary profits): Getting out in to the public and 'shakin' it' like you do in living room is terrifying. Unless of course you know that you are a fabulous dancer or so good looking it doesn't really matter then perhaps the world truly is stage. The rest of us worry a little to much, in all the dancing we do from night club to ballroom, about who is watching and what they are thinking.

But why should we?

Dancing is fun. Grovin' to the music is an universally awesome experience, even if your just bobbing your head to the beat in the car. In Don Baarnes post I Can't Dance Like Nobody's Watching he talks about using his car time to practice isolation exercises and worrying less about anyone taking notice. (You may remember that isolations are key in Latin styling).

When I take a cold, hard look, it’s obvious I shouldn’t care what they think. If I actually continue my exercises, possibly entertaining them and giving them a good laugh, I’m making their world more interesting and improving my dancing. In a way, I’m giving them a gift, even though they may be laughing at me rather than with me....

Think of them telling their friends, “Yeah, I’m sitting in traffic, and this gray-haired guy in his Lexus is grooving to something. I think he was on drugs, or maybe he was having a seizure, I almost called 911, but then I figured out he thought he was dancing and I laughed so hard I had to pull over and wipe the tears from my eyes. This guy is a hoot. Watch for that gray Lexus.”
Baarnes reminds us that dance takes practice, not just practice of the steps or in his case isolations but practice of the spirit. We have to work at letting go, looking dumb, making mistakes and going out of our comfort zones. Not only for the sake of being better dancers, who are focused on our partners and our expression, but for the sake of being better people, who live life more fully and with more joy.

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