This post serves a companion post to my previous one entitled “The Remarkable Remedy”.
While browsing through Dance Forums I’ve come across this topic once or twice, but haven’t given much thought to it. The question is “What happens when the end is in sight?” Of course, one has to define what one means by end. Does it mean a temporary, unwilling hiatus? Is age finally catching up? Whatever the definition, there is no denying that things end.
That’s enough philosophy for now. In a normal circumstances, dance ends all the time. Unfortunately for me, the studio closes, and I have to leave. I wish our weekly socials lasted more than an hour, but they don’t. Dance is a fading oasis. It’s a place where I can forget about the world and just relax. Before I know it the oasis is gone, and I have to return to the arid, harsh world I came from. Or do I?
I must confess that this is one life lesson that I’ve wrestling with over the past weeks. The real question is “How can I transfer the joy I feel on the floor to other places?” According to my mom, it’s not really the place that matters. Dance, or whatever gives you joy, produces feelings that you carry inside yourself. I thought about this for a moment. What gave me great joy before I found dance, or in between those yearly breaks life made me take? I remember hanging out with the high school upperclassmen at a weekly Bible study entitled Young Life every Wednesday. I remember the wacky games we played, and the intimate talks we had because it was normally a small group. Granted, it wasn’t the boisterous joy I got from dance parties, but it was joy. Hanging out with my friends a grade below me every lunch for forty-five minutes produced similar feelings.
I realize that my mom and all the other people who responded similarly in Dance Forums were spot on. The dance floor is within. At it’s barest essence, any passion is a vessel through which intense, emotional feelings are channeled. What’s wonderful about this is that there’s a whole variety of things one can participate in depending on personal preference. Of course, I still wonder how to channel those same feelings into something extant to dance. How do these apply to college, where my insecurities really show? What about at home? Where to even begin? That’s what needs to be figured out.
Sometimes, in my quiet moments, I think about all the wonderful things I’ve heard on the floor. Not the funny things, but the ones that left me with such an impression that I still smile to think on them now. Last week during my private less, my DP told me out of the blue, “You know, I could teach you all day.” What teacher can say that about their students? I’m betting some of my elementary and middle school teachers couldn’t say that about me :). Of course, the most wonderful statement I’ve heard wasn’t really about dance at all. It was near the end of my senior year right after my senior prom. Long story short, I bought a very beautiful bluish-green dress, and took one of my good guy friends for the event. When I was leaving the studio that night my former dance teacher, Victor, asked to see my pictures. Those who know me personally can testify that I definitely do not wear make-up often, nor do I particularly like to wear dresses. So, it is only natural that he wanted to see me cleaned-up. I reluctantly showed him a picture of my friend and I underneath a tree before prom. He grinned, put his hand to his face, and told me, “If I wasn’t married, I’d date you for sure.” That floored me. He told this to a girl who never got asked out to her high school homecoming, one who constantly wondered in her teenage insecurity whether the boys even noticed her. I only really received compliments like this from my Dad. Even then, it was so sweet and sincere that it still makes me smile.
Dance is life. That is to say, it channels life’s most wonderful feelings, and vivifies you. Those feelings can happen anywhere, so all one has to do is let them flow into all the other areas of your life. The dance floor is internal.