Ritual, romance, expression, healing, entertainment. Dance has no known beginning and will likely see no end. While it’s incorporated into culture and styles, dance is universal as well as personal. Some of my earliest memories involve dance: watching my grandparents two-step in our living room; my grandfather teaching me to two-step; car dancing with my “Fab Five” girlfriends in high school; dancing at proms and sorority and fraternity parties; spinning around the room dancing with my own children; and now watching my teen daughter dance on stage in competitions. I even go dancing for fitness classes two or three times a week at Zumba and hip hop.
I’ll likely still be car dancing in my eighties. Just wait.
What are your favorite dance memories? Is it time to make some new ones?
My Get Out adventure this week was five days in Overland Park, Kansas for my daughter’s dance nationals with Dance Phase at Talent on Parade. It’s hard to believe that even after watching dozens of dances over several days, I still wanted to dance in the evening – and so on the last night, I got the dance party I’d been wanting – out in the courtyard of the Courtyard Marriott, in the grass, under the full moon.
Dance has been a big part of my Get Out adventures. When I visited the Chickasaws, I got to see their fireside ritual dance and then when I went to OKC Fest for live country music, the first night a college student grabbed me and we two-stepped. He thought I was twenty-four, God bless his drunk self. The second night I watched two couples two-step and swing right next to us. They were so HAPPY. That’s how I feel every time I dance, whether it’s a slow song, a two-step, a line-dance or a booty-shaking hip hop dance in Lauren Fitz’ class.
Dance is joy and grace and not only is it great self-expression for the dancer, but done well, then the viewers of the dance feel the same emotion. My arm hairs stand on end when I’m moved by a beautiful dance.
This week I’d like to celebrate dance and encourage you to get out and dance yourself, even if it’s out in the grass like I did. Or grab your partner for a slow song. Turn up the music and jam out with your kids to a song they like. Hell, I love to car dance, too. (Just keep your eyes on the road.) Make plans to attend a live dance show such as your local ballet or the touring So You Think You Can Dance. Not only does it give us an appreciation for the arts, but it can make us feel something we aren’t used to feeling every day and it’s a timeless past-time we should make more time for.
Congrats to all the DPC dancers on a great year. I can’t wait to be a part of the fun again starting in August.
Next Get Out Adventure is Paddleboard Yoga. Should be a fun excuse to fall in the lake!
Get Fit Tip: Keep your fitness routine going when you’re on vacation by using the fitness center in your hotel each morning before your family wakes up or incorporate fitness activities into your schedule. You can also take the stairs. Personally, I prefer to stick to healthy eating on vacation but you could just modify your meals or portion sizes and give yourself a “cheat” meal. My cheat in Kansas was at The Burg and the Barrel and the angus beef with avacado, bacon and spicy chipotle mayo and onion rings (and Metcalf Mule drink!) was definitely worth it. I did work out a little harder the next morning to make up for it.
Works in Progress Excerpts:
From my novel-in-progress about a Marine vet amputee post-Iraq war. Scene between Jake and his therapist, Annette.
“The moon, huh? But the moon is what kept you from being with her the first time.” Annette uncrossed her legs and leaned in.
“I know. But that was daytime, you know? I think that’s what it was. Seeing the moon when it didn’t belong. The timing was off. But in the dark – that’s my time. I feel the most alive at night. Besides, I was horny and I knew if I went to the bar I’d get stinking drunk and have sex with a stranger again.”
“So a married woman is better than a stranger?”
“You tell me, doc. At least I was having sex with someone I care about.”
From my non-fiction essay collection. I’m about seven essays in. This bit is from, “Midsummer Tilt-a-Whirl”
I know every emotion. They have lived in me and I in them. Sometimes I carried them too long or even gave up my life to them, but no more. No more being a slave to emotions or a frantic mind. Our wild nature knows that emotions are fleeting. They come and go like the sun and the moon. They are there but they shouldn’t rule our every living moment because only we can do that. Don’t give emotions all the power.
HOPE YOU’RE GETTING OUT AND ENJOYING SUMMER. XO