Saturday, July 08, 2006

Yesterday I made it to Friday Night Waltz for the first time in almost a month. It was a very happy time. Things that made me particularly happy:

* Thayet (on several levels)
* Infinite pivots with the TD (soooo good!)
* Trying out a new radvin polka variation with Anachoron
* An exhausted but very satisfying last waltz
* The aftermath, even if it wasn't particularly cold

Things that made me not particularly happy:

* Forwardness is appreciated in moderation in the context of a deliberate dating relationship. It is not appreciated otherwise.

The aftermath was particularly good. I don't know what it is about the aftermath of a dance that makes for such good God time. Maybe the utter exhaustion helps to lower some of my natural defenses, so I am less guarded. Maybe it's akin to the closeness that follows a good worship session ... after all, dance and worship aren't that different. Whatever it is, I'm not giving it up if I can help it.

Two of the things that happened on Friday got me thinking. One was trying out the genuflection transition with Anachoron (it almost worked ... I'll get it one of these days). The other was infinite pivots with the TD (by "infinite" I mean that we were canter pivoting a true 180 degrees each time. For those of you who don't know, most of the time even really good pivots don't travel 180 degrees so eventually you have to stop pivoting or you'll curl back into traffic and collide. In theory each pivot should be 180 degrees so you should be able to pivot indefinitely, but that almost never happens.). Anyway, both these events worked up quite a sweat, and made me wonder what I like so much about polka.

Polka is definitely my favorite dance (although if you count "waltz" as a single dance that beats it out). I think the reason for that is that it's ... exuberant is the wrong word. It's like this. The reason I never drive in Meilissa with the windows down is because I like to sing, and I like to sing loudly. I like to roar Disney songs so my stomach muscles quake. I like to let my body go to the limits of what it can do and ride that, like a hang glider riding an updraft or a surfer riding a wave. Or I like to act a song, let it carry me away so my eyes burn or my heart shrinks in sadness. I like to let go, but I like to do it privately. One day I'll find someone I can share that with on a regular basis, perhaps, but for now it's an intensely private thing.

Polka - or any athletic round dance - is kind of like that only less private. The athleticism is a kind of silent roar, the simple joy of stretching my muscles in the same way that singing can be the simple joy of stretching my lungs. There's more to it than that, of course, such as the musical interpretation, and goodness knows I have a fondness for things that are technically difficult, but I think the core of it is the simple joy of letting go. No other dance I know is so unfettered - even lindy hop is too, well, too intricate by comparison. It may be creatively unfettered, but polka is more physically free. It's still a fairly private thing, I suppose, but it's inherently less private. It feels good to share.

2 comments:

Graham said...

That last polka we did (where my leaders kept switching on me) was awesome. How many yards we were covering in each stride of those redowas? Lots of fun. Thanks. :-)

frank said...

you asked me once why i wanted to lose control. i think i've realized now, it's the desire for that same experience as letting go in revelry, except out of desperation, because you can't revel when you're distraught.

you might try singing with me one day :}

my birthday party's the 29th if you're back