Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"I feel like dancing dancing dance the night away"

So here I am, dancing at the party on Saturday night...

I love this picture because dancing really does make me feel this blissed out. I didn't realize it until I saw this picture, but this is really what it feels like inside (oh, gods, am I really this transparent?).

I've loved dancing since I was little. I would dance and perform for family and friends. My mother was a part of a liturgical dance group and I would go with her and practice with them. I was later a part of a liturgical dance group in high school...and it was the most powerful part of being in church for me.

I went to my share of school dances, but my favorite teen dance memories were with the dances for my church youth group. For some reason, I could kick it loose there in a way that I could not at school...maybe because I had known most of those kids since we were toddlers. I would say that there was a bit of a catch 22 with those dances though because I also have the most profound memories of loneliness from them. I could dance the fast songs with abandon, but the slow songs would come along and there would be no one to dance with...strangely, that still hurts.

Dancing was the first way that I got in touch with my body. I loved the feel of it. I didn't have to be coordinated. I could shake my hips and my ass and not be ashamed. I could, and often did, go inside of myself almost entirely. It's probably the only time I like my body entirely. I take up a lot of space dancing.

I've danced for myself. I've danced for other people...I even tried, unsuccessfully, to seduce someone by dancing for them. I've danced in joy and in pain. I've tapped, waltzed, slammed, Roger Rabitted (much to the amusement of everyone, including myself), danced free form, schotished, and polkaed my way through many an hour.

I remember the polka, in particular. I first learned it from my mother at my grandparents' house in Iowa. Grandfather pulled out some old polka albums, then got out his accordian and accompanied us. Later that lesson would stand me in good stead, when at a folk festival, Bette and I began an impromptu polka to a polka band playing in the lobby. We got cheers from all the older observers and strange looks from the people our age.

At a good concert, or a party with good music, I can hardly keep myself from standing still. Dancing is just a joy in my soul. It is, perhaps, my most consistent drug.

I wrote the following after going to see a band at the, now closed, City Blues Cafe in's very rough, but I still can feel what I meant:


The strings of your music tug
at my heart and mind so that
I twitch and dance and sidestep.

A riff skittles across my nerves
and the base sets my heart a new beat
yes until,
I am pulled taut and so still
that I can only close my eyes
and feel the tension empty
into me.


Alecya Giovanni said...

Well, you look like you are having fun.

I love to dance too. I did ballet until I was 15 and had an injury. Dancing somehow makes it all better, doesn't it?

'Some dance to remember, some dance to forget'


red one said...

I'm really not a dancer. I'm a bit envious of people who can dance unselfconciously - I wouldn't worry about being transparent: lost in a dance is a great look.

The only times I dance - and this is rare - is when a) I've had a few and b) it is one of those collective all in a ring or a line type things where no-one is looking at you individually and you get carried along by everyone else. Then, just occasionally, I can sort of fall into it and my feet do what they're meant to without me thinking. Doesn't happen often though.


Aravis said...

I love dancing too, though it's rare that I achieve complete loss of self dancing unless I'm home alone. As my gyrations terrorize my pets, it's especially fun! *G* But I love losing myself to music, whether dancing or singing. It's wonderful! You caught that feeling perfectly in your poem.

Flash said...

I too love to dance.

I reckon I'm pretty good too but I rarely let myself go in public.
Which is a shame.

BTW, posty came yesterday!

spinsterwitch said...

I find it so strange what posts get responses and which don't...ah well, there was a party yesterday at Fox's, so I suppose I shouldn't take it personally.

Except for Red, the only people who responded love to dance, too. Maybe that's part of it...oh, who knows. Onto the next post, eh?

Flash - Yay!

the urban fox said...

I love to dance too, and I thought I had commented here. I remember writing one. What the hell happened there? Eh?

Anyway: I remember asking you to dance over at my place earlier, and then postponing until you were in full health. So you and dancing were at the forefront of my mind.

spinsterwitch said...

Thanks, Fox...don't mind me, I'm just sort of in awe of how little I can predict the posts that will get a good response v. those that don't.

Aravis said...

I think about this sometimes, too. I've given up trying to predict; I'm usually wrong. I find the same thing with my illustrations or photos. I'll hate something but put it up anyway, and people will love it. Or I'll put something up that I really like and am proud of, and get few comments. It's all so arbitrary, based on where people are mentally and emotionally when they read. Or so it seems. This sounds like a good subject for a post.