There was this free-spirited soul I once dated, when he heard the baseline drop to any song he would jump up fearlessly and damn near run to the dance floor, empty or not. I remember saying to myself, “um no one is on the dance floor I’ll just wait on the sideline until there are at least enough people to take the attention off me.” That’s when I cared! Eight years later, I could care less. I think back to the roles that people play/played in my life, I learned from him that if the music moves you let go of your inhibitions and let that baseline pull you to the dance floor. Now when I hear the baseline drop I am going down with it, whether I have a partner or not. It’s a liberating feeling to:
- Don’t care what anyone thinks.
- Allow the music to move you.
- Truly, and I mean truly….hear AND feel the music at the same time.
- Be ok with being judged, cause folk will talk about you
Dance is the truest form of therapy for me. I take all my fears, pain, love, joy and heartbreak to the dance floor and release it. People assume I go dancing to meet people. Just the opposite, I’d rather not know my partner’s name and the only words that need to be said are, “would you like to dance?” “yes” and “thank you.” Actually, words aren’t necessary, hand gestures can say it all. Haven’t you had someone ask you to dance with the gentle gesture of grabbing your hand and walking you to the dance floor?! If someone starts a conversion the dance will be cut short. Sorry! I have absolutely no interest in talking.
In the salsa dancing community there are these events called Socials. The title alone gives me anxiety and implies that one must socialize. About two months ago I decided to attend a Social because I wanted to dance Zouk. I arrived promptly as usual, found the perfect parking spot, and with great hesitation walked into the ballroom. The dancing had just started and people were standing around “socializing,” the horror. I did a quick glance to see if there were any familiar faces. I was not in the mood to socialize at the social and gracefully exited the building. To avoid social interaction one must not arrive when the party starts, rule numero uno! I forgot that rule. Most people know me as a social person, but when it comes to dancing I stick to the golden rule “no talking on the dance floor!”
I didn’t start dancing until I as 30, I am late to the game. I’ve taken lessons in salsa, zouk, bachata, rumba, the waltz, swing, the hustle, tango and most recently Chicago steppin. In all seriousness, dance is my sport. I keep two pairs of dance shoes in my car at all times, just in case! One of my goals in life is to not be intimidated by any dancefloor and to be able to confidently accept any offer to dance. I may miss a step or two, but I am going to have a ball in the process and might even close my eyes, tilt my head back and let the music completely take over.
In short, I am the first to admit I am a dance-aholic, with Latin and Afro-beats being my music of choice. Music and dance nurture my soul and make me whole when all else seems unattainable. Dance reminds me to be thankful for the ability to hear, feel, move and touch. It’s the one thing that allows me to connect and disconnect from the world around me.