Free dance

May 27, 2020

I'm a horrible dancer. But I love dancing!

This is a really weird post to write. If my thought ventured to the subject a few times this week, maybe I should write about it. As I'm typing these letters it feels like maybe I should not hit the publish button, and well, it seems I have. And I think I did it because I miss some of the coolest events I have ever attended.

Most places where one would normally dance do not appeal to me. Maybe it's the lack of formal training or the lack of confidence when dancing with a partner. Maybe it's not knowing the moves well ingrained in the community. Maybe I just sometimes don't find the music stimulating. All of these are aspects of it, but at a party, or the extremely rare occasion I end up in a club, I often feel like I don't belong.

There's always a certain pressure in the air. Like I'd have to dance a certain way. In the circle, taking turns, every once in a while going up in front showing everyone how awesome I think I may be, it feels like a competition. Sometimes it feels like dancing is a means to something other than the dance itself. And there's always dancing with someone, where it feels like I should be leading and taking charge, despite not knowing how that's done.

No, wherever people expect to be dancing, I feel like I don't know the rules. Like there's a contract most people have signed at some point in their lives, a moment I somehow skipped. And there's always some effort involved until I find a corner I'm comfortable in, a corner where I can just move and feel free. (Fortunately, I usually find it, and I do get my fun!)

Instead, I love moving to music, reacting to it. Some people at the office may have spotted me spontaneously dancing at my desk every once in a while, and politely ignored me. Or sometimes I just dance a bit in a car, or I take four bouncy steps while walking on the street. Nothing big really. That is freedom of movement worth exploring every once in a while.

Beyond my little crazy arm wavy movements, there are two places in this world where I feel dancing is encouraged in it's purest form. Without judgement, simply free. Concerts, as everyone's eyes are locked in on the band and people are free to react however they will when overpowered by loud and vivid sound and lights (and I react!), and ecstatic dance.

Because some people realized dancing does not have to be competitive, does not have to be a known ritual, nor does it have to play to the same tunes we all know from the radio. It can just be play. Dancing doesn't have to convey something, it just has to be enjoyed. It just needs a place free from judgement or other purpose for people like me who just want to feel the music, a space where one can dance alone, or with others, without pressure. Whether the music is slow, fast, fluid, stuttered, energetic or just plain weird, these are the places where I can easily explore how it makes me feel and move.

I didn't know I wanted to find a space like that, but I'm so glad I did!

To all those in town organizing ecstatic dance events, I miss you guys and gals! Hope you'll be allowed to host these playful spaces again soon!

PS. Here's a little tune for those who feel like flowing away. Enjoy.