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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saved by the drums

Long before my days of ballet and modern dance, I began putting down roots in what are considered "vernacular" dance styles. Namely, swing dance (Lindy Hop), hip hop and West African. When people ask me what my favorite type of dance is, it's a toss up between one of these three. Whether I'm swiveling my hips in a swing out, gettin' down to some old school beats or stomping my feet to the drum, I'm my happiest.

New Year's Eve 2008
Three weeks ago, just about when I was feeling at the end of my whoa-is-me-I'm-never-going-to-dance-again rope, enter West African.

You can't see it, but I'm grinning ear-to-ear - I love to fly!
Just like before beginning any new dance class, I was nervous - way out of dance shape, party of one! - but that dissipated as soon as the drums began. The body remembers. Oh, that doesn't mean to say it didn't school me. It most definitely did. But the soul remembers, too. It had been a long time since my last African dance class and it felt like I had come back home after being away for too long.

African-inspired modern piece, fall 2009
You know when you're doing something and suddenly the activity and people around you fade to the background? The only thing you're conscious of is you, in that moment, doing that thing? When something inside of you utters a clear and distinct "yes"? Despite exhausted muscles and a heart pounding in my chest, that was me three weeks ago.

Hubs tells me I look most beautiful after class. That's crazy, because I'm one hot mess - clothes soaked, hair awry and face beet red. He says it's because joy is radiating from inside me and that makes me beautiful.

Birthday dance, 2010
I sure have missed this joy. 


1 comment:

  1. So great to hear about that joy, Jessi. Dance away!