On the Embrace and Inward Passion

photo by Dance Photographer - Brendan Lally (flickr)

photo by Dance Photographer – Brendan Lally (flickr)

I’m back, my friends.  I was travelling the Caribbean on a week-long cruise during the break, and it was wonderful.  There’s nothing like walking under sunny skies while listening to the Afro-Cuban beat of the island’s music.

I’m geared for Team Match on March 29th, (I wasn’t going to participate because Tommy was gone.  When he returned, I changed my mind.  I want to dance with him as much as possible before he leaves.)  I’m very, very excited for my Tango Argentino routine.  It’ll test my technique, muscle memory, musicality, following, and most of all, acting.

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The Argentinian Challenge

photo from Wikimedia Commons

photo from Wikimedia Commons

“Hey, did you know that I asked Tommy to teach me Argentine Tango?”  I eagerly told a friend a while back.  “You’re learning Argentine Tango?” he asked.  “Yeah,” I replied, still smiling happily.  His tone became frank, “I don’t know how you’ll do it.  I mean, increased physical contact makes you uncomfortable.”  An “alright” was all I could get out, not really knowing what else to say.  That stung a bit.  But he was a friend, so I brushed it off.  What I wish I would’ve said in that moment was “Challenge accepted,” with a big grin on my face.

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Yellow Shirts and the Hokey-Pokey

In my earliest memories of dancing, I’m under my auntie Nancy’s dining room table, (which had been pushed off to the side of the room), watching my mom, dad, aunties, and uncles all dancing on the hardwood floor to a never-ending stack of 45 records, dropping one after the other. I remember foot-high stacks of 45s all around the record player. The song that I remember playing most? “Twistin’ the Night Away” by Sam Cooke. Every time I hear that song, I remember auntie’s spontaneous dance parties. What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?

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Can it be?  The Daily Post has given me a prompt that has to do with dance.  Rejoice!   I hated the prospect of dancing when I was little because I equivocated it with ballet.  Hence, my freshest memories are of a rebellious child jamming to the music in a petty protest against “girly-ness”.  (It sounds poetic when I put it that way, but those are the feelings that come up looking back as a twenty-something adult.  I’m sure when I was five or six, I didn’t give a crap about the “why”.)

In my mind’s eye do I see a verdant, fruitful gallery?  Shall we sift through the visions I’ve seen?

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A Dance with Words

Dancing is the poetry of the foot.  ~John Dryden

Hello, friends.  This isn’t about dance.  It’s about poetry, but I do believe the two are related.  See the obvious quote above.  One of my professors said that there is a palpable tension in poetry.  It exists between the rhythm and the grammar.  For me, the “grammar” of dance is the technique, all those little movements I repeat seemingly ad infinitum.  The rhythm of the dance goes beyond the musical beat.  It extends to individual, artistic expression.  What can be hard for the dancer is finding the balance between looking correct (technique) and dancing with life (rhythm).  The same is true for poetry.

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A Carefully Thought-Out Letter of Encouragement

Authoress Note: My update on my private lesson is going to be on Thursday because I feel compelled to write this.  The following is an attempt at encouragement without going into judgment.  I’ve always lived by this mantra: Don’t judge people’s crap and how they deal with their crap until you’ve walked in it for a while.  I know for a fact that I have never dealt with the issues that this person is dealing with, and I won’t be so foolish as to pretend I do.  But, I do seek to bolster and give…advice?  No, perhaps advice is the wrong word here.  Advice isn’t needed.  I’m sure this person gets plenty of that.  I think suggestion is the best word.  May my tongue be guarded, a giver of blessings.

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Dear _______,

We share common ground, a life’s passion.  I feel connected to you, even if it’s through the faulty and often untrustworthy environment of the Internet.  I loved how our lifestyle helped medicate both our daily aches and gave us one more reason to get up in the morning.  It was—and still is—a feeling of warm contentment to know that someone else out there wanted to share that lifestyle through writing. Continue reading

My Dance Manifesto: Spreading Caritas

Authoress’ Note: This post is a response to Stefanie’s question at the end of this particular post.

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Caritas is the word, my friends.  It is the single word that sums up my manifesto.  So, what in the world does it mean?  Well, it is the Latin synonym for the Greek word agape.  (Click here for a definition of agape. It’s at the very bottom.)  Okay, I’ll stop beating around the bush.  Caritas is another Latin word for love, more specifically, unconditional love.  Another, perhaps more familiar term, for love would be amo, from which we derive the word amorous, among others.  But, caritas is probably best translated as “charity” which fits perfectly with “unconditional love”.  So, I’ll be using the two interchangeably throughout the manifesto. Continue reading

Why Dance Matters: A Simple Poem

Hello, my friends.  I just saw my friend Stef’s most recent post on why dance matters to her. It’s for a special project, which you can read about here. Seeing as my last post was a bit too long and a little on the negative side. I’ve decided to share a poem I wrote about this very subject. I consider my poems to be very personal, and you may take from it what you please. I’m only happy that you’re viewing it.

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I dance.  In a fading oasis shaded from heat.

I dance.  And chivalry’s fragile heart still beats.

I dance.  The Father smiles at me.

I dance.  I’m who I’m supposed to be.

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Hope is fragile.  Hard to kill.

Though weary, it lingers still.

For the curious, this is the notebook that contains all my poetry. It’s very precious and personal to me, and this is probably the first poem I’ve shared from it.

Dream Dancer

Hello, readers!  I’d like to present you with another poem inspired by a dream I had two nights ago.  As to the contents of the dream, I’ll leave that to your imagination.  I confess that I feel a bit anxious to post this as it shows my more vulnerable side, which I don’t particularly like to expose.  But, that’s the beauty of poetry.

I’d like to share a bit about my relationship with poetry.  The start was rather hideous.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t compose a poem with decent rhythm, so I gave up.  As I grew older and my writing skills improved, I found that I just had to find the beat of my own inner music, and composing became easier.  Today, whenever I’m particularly inspired, I write a poem about it.  I’m no professional, and my rhythm is still a bit rough.  But, I know I have it in me, and I’ll definitely keep practicing.

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