Dancing in the Magic of the Moment

Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now

“We Need a Little Christmas” -written by Jerry Herman

Holiday shoppers, the Practice Ballroom Dance store is officially open for the season! Normally, I do a couple short sales toward the end of the year, but 2020 is hella different. So I’ve decided to do things a little different. Book and journal bundles are on sale and will stay that way through the end of the year!

And just in case the song isn’t already in your head, here’s the whole thing. 😉

This song has been in my head all weekend. When it first popped in yesterday morning, I just ran with it. Or danced with it rather. My dogs and I enjoyed a two-minute jaunt around the apartment.

Yesterday afternoon, I headed to the studio for a rehearsal of a group number to Cell Block Tango for the next virtual showcase. I broke out the real dance heels and fishnets this time to test out my costume. I haven’t worn dance heels since March! But good news – I didn’t fall on my face.

You know you’re a dancer when you wear fishnets under your sweatpants.

Even though showcases haven’t been my thing for years, I’m getting into the spirit of things. It’s been fun leaning into my “Pop” character!

As the pandemic continues with no relief in sight, I’ll admit to feeling the strain. Some days are better than others, but overall, the anxiety level sits higher than it used to. Old normal is long gone, but the foundations of new normal are still being built under me. The ground feels shaky.

It’s been especially weird and depressing for dancers to have our solace turn into a potential threat. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for those dancers also dealing with lost income, housing, or heaven forbid, lost family or friends.

Listening to “We Need a Little Christmas” yesterday, I started to hear the desperate plea underneath the jovial tune.

For I’ve grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now

For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing, ringing through the rafter
And we need a little snappy
Happy ever after
Need a little Christmas now

“We Need a Little Christmas” -written by Jerry Herman

Fun fact, the song was originally written for the Broadway musical Mame and is performed after Mame, a wealthy and eccentric woman living in New York City, loses her fortune in the 1929 stock market crash.

What happens when you hit rock bottom in a musical? You sing and dance about it, of course!

I’ve always maintained that Life would be better as a musical, and here’s more proof.

The logical and practical sides of me are thinking, “Ok, so you sing and dance for two minutes but Life is still gonna suck when the music fades.”

True, but that two minutes of dancing around my apartment with my dogs to a classic Christmas tune got my blood flowing, increased the level of serotonin in my brain, and reduced my anxiety level. I felt calmer and happier, and I could think more clearly. All of those effects can help me cope with Life sucking and even find solutions to make it suck less.

In my personal development work, the idea of being present in the moment is a common theme. You can’t change the past and you can’t control the future, so focus on the here and now. This is where you can make a difference and this is where you can find peace.

Of course, it’s hard to find peace in a moment when our world is dealing with a pandemic, social injustice, economic downfalls, wars, climate change, etc.

This is where we can use a little Christmas, or at least a two-minute bright and colorful distraction.

I take frequent mini-breaks throughout the work day to move my body. My knees will flare up if I stay seated in front of the computer all day. Sometimes I have music playing and my dogs and I will dance around the living room. Sometimes I’ll dance a little Salsa in the kitchen and wash a few dishes. Sometimes we just run back and forth between the bedroom and living room (it’s more fun than it sounds).

It all may sound silly and simple, but those mini-breaks are a saving grace. They don’t solve any major problems, but taking those brief moments to escape the problems and just move in the moment makes it easier to deal with the problems. I don’t need to sell you on the idea that moving our bodies to music has tremendous positive impacts on our mental health. You know.

I usually don’t do much decorating for the holidays, and if I do Christmas decor, it isn’t until after Thanksgiving. I’m thinking about making an exception this year. 2020 needs a little Christmas sooner than later. I was reminded by a mentor the other day that there is still beauty and goodness in the world, I just need to look for it past all the crap. Holiday decorations would be an easy way to bring a little more light and color into my corner of the world!

I’m also not holding back on the cheesy Christmas movies or more holiday songs. Are they selling egg nog yet? Maybe I’ll add that to my next grocery delivery.

If you know me, then you know I’m not on board the “focus only on the positive” train. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns with or without the pandemic. “We need a little Christmas” is simply about giving yourself a mental break from the suck. Take two minutes to just dance in the moment, let yourself smile and even laugh out loud. There is magic in that moment, and while we can’t stay there forever, we can bring some of it back into reality with us.

Happy dancing, everyone!

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