A couple of nights ago my subdivision hosted a Halloween concert. Live band, a couple of hundred people, adults and kids. I looked forward to this event. I don’t usually look especially forward to socializing but I heard there would be dancing.
Let me give you a little background on me in regards to dancing. I love it. As in, can hardly keep my body still when I hear a beat, love it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a good dancer, per say. I haven’t a remote clue what I am doing. I don’t watch YouTube tutorials or keep up with the newest moves. I have taken a couple of jitterbug classes but it didn’t really stick. I just love to move. I consider myself very “somatic”, which is why I’m in love with yoga. When I was seventeen I snuck into a bar, alone and was on some type of platform, dancing. Yes, I’m that girl. Oh, and it is not because of alcohol. Anything that even hints at the makings of a dance party is my jam. I literally dance in my bathroom almost every morning.
Back to the event….my grandsons attended with us. Ethan, the 7-year-old, loves all things music and dance related. He will show his moves to us upon request with little prodding. For the first hour of the concert, he ran around with the other kids his age as we milled about, meeting neighbors we hadn’t met yet.
Halfway through the night, Ethan joined me on the dance floor. Within a few songs, he was front and center dancing his heart out. I’m not certain, but I think he was the only kid on the dance floor. At one point during the night I knelt down and whispered to him, “never stop dancing”, and he shook his head signaling that he understood and that he certainly would not stop. I pray that is the truth. Maybe that lesson will stick. I think it is a lesson that matters more than many we teach our kids.
This morning I asked them what dancing feels like. I was struggling with words to explain why dancing is so important to me. Carson, the 6-year-old, responds immediately with “it feels like home and freedom”. Ethan said, “it feels like happiness”. Then Carson follows up with “it feels like joyness”.
Chills ran through my body as I realized that I didn’t need to teach them what dancing represents to me, they already know it for themselves. I once thought age increases wisdom but maybe it's just returning to what we knew all along. I pray they continually return to what is already there. Home, freedom, happiness, “joyness”. Maybe they will honor those truths instead of letting fear, shame, or societal conditioning dictate who they become. Dance continually brings me back to these truths for myself. I no longer care what is being said from the sidelines. Freedom is worth it.
May we all learn the lessons of the dance floor. May we teach our children to value them. May we dance our hearts out when no one is looking and when they are. I think the world would be a much better place.