Just got home from the ethnic dancing, and I have to say it: everyone needs to learn to dance.
Whatever your style, whatever kind of music, wherever you are, you should dance. Often, even. If you’re terrible at it, you need to dance more.
Besides the fact that it’s: a) fun, b) healthy, and c) confidence-building*, it is an amazing way almost all cultures the world over can use to communicate without words. Just watching these young people** dance explains a lot about their gender beliefs, practices, their pride in their culture, their style (clothing and culture-wise), their celebration of life (even if they don’t realize that’s what they are celebrating), and their complete and utter gracefulness that comes from being secure in who they are.
More and more I realize that trait is missing in America’s young people (I include myself in that designation). It’s not just the “normal” teenage experience; in other cultures there is not this complete question of identity as there is in the US. Is it because we don’t know who we are? I wonder.
Anyways, serious ponderings aside, I had a very deja-vu moment as I watched them dancing. Because they meet outdoors and at night, and have to set up spotlights for any illumination during the dancing, it reminded me strongly of years of swing dancing on Baylor’s campus. After dark. Outside. With spotlights on Fountain mall.
I’m on the other side of the world, and still going to late night dancing meetings.†
The only difference is, girls dance with girls, and guys dance with guys. It’s stranger to see a couple dancing than not. However, even the interactions between dancing partners also strongly reminds me of swing.
I have found my people!!
Okay, not really, but I’m glad to have such a great connection point with the girls to build our relationship upon. Now I’m going to collapse into bed before the littler girls wake me to make Saturday breakfast together.
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*Eventually you just have to get over your own self-consciousness and get out there and move, no matter how awkwardly or uncoordinated-ly you do so.
**I say young people because they’re 5 to 7 years younger than me. Thankfully they don’t hold it against me, and “You look 20!” they say. My genes working for me I guess, thanks Mom and Dad.
†Does this mean I’m predictable? Or just drawn to people who like to dance?