Dancing with Myself

I love dancing – ballet, tap, latin, jazz, you name it.  That feeling of turning on music and just letting my body follow the sound.  No control, just life. 

Maybe it was taking formal lessons as a child, performing recitals in front of my parents’ ever-watching eyes.  Maybe it was getting older and falling into a career known for uniformity and reservation.  But for some reason I stopped dancing

About four years ago, armed with gin-&-tonic-induced courage, I cut loose in front of this one guy who thought it would be quite clever to imitate the dancing of the girl he’d just met.  Thanks to that G&T, I didn’t care…and I’ve been dating that guy ever since.  But I still couldn’t, wouldn’t let myself dance.

Remember that skinny blonde kid with braces in Sixteen Candles?  My dance moves are an awkward combination of his, and Hugh Grant’s in Love Actually – all of the worst moves from each decade wrapped together.  And I bit my lower lip while I dance – Yikes!  It’s really quite amazing, if I don’t say so myself.

But then came the “perfect storm” – I ended up in a work-environment that I really like, with a team that recently named our contract management system The Enterprise (short for the starship), one of our online file folders after the little old man in Old School, and a LLC after one of the quirkiest Supreme Court Justices in history – Antonin Scalia.  The sun came out…in Iowa…in the middle of March…and I was outside every day just soaking it up.  And then it looked like we might finally be leaving Des Moines and moving to one of my most favorite places in the US – Austin, Texas.

Just like that – the dancing came back.  I was cooking in the kitchen with the kitchen door open to the back patio, sunlight pouring in, and then my Pandora station switched to a song that played in every bar, club, and roadside stand in Liberia – All the Above by Maino.  I just let go and just danced.

Closed my eyes.  Waved my cooking spoon in the air.  Picked up the dog and spun him around the kitchen (he was really not a fan of that).  And kept dancing song, after song, after song.

I was still dancing when my partner came home from work.  He completely cracked up at my dancing and, of course, imitated my stellar moves.  But I didn’t, and haven’t, stopped.  I dance in my car on the way home from work, in the living room to my P90X workout DVD (who knew Kempo was code for salsa dancing), and over and over again in my kitchen.

I am free.

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