Saturday, March 16, 2013

Scattered Thoughts on My Relationship With Dancing

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1. The annual swing dance weekend Lindy on the Rocks happens in Denver soon. I had a very small role in the creation of this event in that I pushed the organizers as hard as I knew how to host a dance event in Denver that featured classes AND competitions. The inaugural LOTR was a big success and the event is now in its 9th year. I haven't attended in years and am nervous to go, but every year I really regret not going. I know I will be rusty and will almost certainly never reach the level of dance that I once held myself to, but I miss the dance, I miss the friends I made there, and most of all, I miss the music and the energy.

2. My facebook feed still leans heavily dance. Most days, my dance friends' posts make me smile. Unfortunately this one made me cringe.

This photo comes not from an anti pointe website but from the Pacific Northwest Ballet's facebook fan page. Dance owes much to ballet. Ballet was one of the first dance forms that allowed at least a few dancers to make their living as dancers. But ballet's legacy is also one of pain, especially for women. Even properly done, dancing "en pointe" leads to lifelong foot damage. This photo does not make me long to see ballerinas en pointe, beautiful though they may be. It makes me absolutely positive that if I have a daughter, that I'll expose her to every dance form except ballet.

For a long time I kept this quote on my computer:
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” ― Rumi
I always thought of it metaphorically. Photos such as the one above make me reconsider.

3. A few nights ago while volunteering at a screening of Girl Rising at the Denver Pavillions movie theater, a woman I didn't know recognized me and said, "Truman, you are a dancer!" She complimented my dancing and then went inside to watch the movie. As she walked away I was tempted to say, "You know I'm not really a dancer anymore," but as I stood there basking in my annual D rate celebrity recognition, I realized that even though I almost never dance these days, I will always view life through the lens of a dancer.

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