Saturday, March 05, 2005

I kind of felt like my list of dances I like was more or less fixed, so it's nice to find out that's not so. Turns out I like west coast swing a lot. Of course it's nice to find that out because it's fun to find new fun things (by definition, really), but it's also fun because I'm not really all that good at it yet. I mean I'm not terrible, and I think that my lead is pretty good, but I'm hardly flashy and I'm not 100% comfortable with the movement-music dynamic yet (which is, in my experience, pretty much what makes me flashy), yet I enjoy it a lot anyway. Zydeco once observed that there's a difference between enjoying looking good on the dance floor and dancing because you look good. I think that's an important distinction to make. If you look good, that's fine, but I don't want to be the kind of dancer who dances for the purpose of making people look at me.

Why do I like dancing? Lots of reasons I guess but I think one of the primary (perhaps the primary) reason is the movement-music dynamic. Chariessa observed the other day that she doesn't have the instinct for what to lead when. That instinct - being able to say "the music is telling me to do this" is one of the things I love most about dance. Social dance is a way of experiencing music for me, just like singing is. Both are physical activities that get your body and not just your mind involved in appreciating the music. This is one of the reasons the idea of dancing to Christian music (and particularly worship music) has such a powerful hold on me. On the one hand it might seem strange to worship by dancing west coast to "Blessed Be Your Name," but on the other hand what could be more natural than to share a worship experience in a way that uniquely gets your whole being involved in the music and necessarily requires a two-person rather than one-person unit? Which isn't to say that all dancing to CCM or worship music is directed at God - but when it is, oh, now there's a fantasy.

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