Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I don't have time to review Alexander right now, but I haven't talked about dance in any sort of substantive way in a while and I thought I'd do that before going to sleep since I can't further the adventures of Tristan, my sword-wielding Bastila-chasing Jedi-to-be, in the minutes I have before bedtime (which technically was about an hour ago). The last class of History of Waltz was today. It was a good one that had me all jumping up and down: excited for zweifachers with the TD, and for smiles and pivots with White Jade. For my ninth (!) dance essay I turned in a list of things that dance has brought into my life as a thank-you to the Dance Master. It went like this:

Because I dance ...
I am no longer deathly afraid of the dance floor.
I have experienced partners who don’t care how good I am, but how attentive I am.
I have learned that in dance, as in romance, how good you are is largely determined by how attentive you are.
I have walked home at night six inches off the ground.
I know what it’s like to read somebody’s mind.
I know what it feels like to enjoy music with every part of who I am.
I have seen the world dissolve into a spun-sugar halo.
I know what it feels like when the music ends and there’s a breathless girl in my arms.
I know what it feels like when the music ends and I’m the breathless one.
I understand why there’s a place in the heart of every little boy that wants to be a knight in shining armor.
I get to practice being a knight in shining armor.
I experienced my first kiss.
I have come as close to flying as any boy this side of Peter Pan.
I have a new way to tell my loved ones I love them.

That third one, about attentiveness, probably is an over-simplification, but I do think that certain values necessary to a good romance are instantiated in social dance. Instantiated is my new favorite word thanks to Archimedes, whom I miss very much.

The list isn't entirely complete, though. When I say "every part of who I am" I mean that when I dance I can appreciate music with my body (the part of me that dances), with my voice (that part of me that sings), with my mind (the part of me that analyzes the music), but also with my imagination (the part of me that yearns) and with my spirit (the part of me that prays). And along the same lines, I'd add one more thing to the list that I didn't feel comfortable sharing with the Dance Master, for some reason:

Because I dance, I better understand what it means to dance like David danced.

Thank you to everyone who has ever danced with me. Especially thank you to Shanah Van, who ultimately got me into this, and to Blue Rose, who was my first real dance partner.

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