It Feels Wrong to Dance

It feels wrong to dance right now.
When there are people out there
Who think it’s ok or funny or cool
To storm our nation’s Capital,
To break windows and doors
While people on the other side wonder
If this would be the day they died.

It feels wrong to dance
On the graves of literally thousands of people
Who die daily from a virus that could have been,
Should have been,
Controlled months ago.

It feels wrong to dance
When respect for ourselves,
Our neighbors,
Our country
Has been reduced to a sad, tattered rag
Flapping in the wind.

It feels wrong to dance
On the surface of a planet that has done everything it can
To support and nurture us,
And that we have only deceived and decimated.

Who are we to dance?
When so many can’t walk
Or run
Or sleep
Without being targeted.

Who are we to dance?
When so many can’t leave their homes,
And so many others don’t have homes to leave.

Who are we to feel that joy that comes
When movement meets music
And creates magic?

It feels so wrong to dance right now,
To float across the floor to a beautiful melody
When there is so much chaos, darkness and ugliness in the world.

Maybe that’s the point.

Maybe dance is the antidote to this poison,
A light in the darkness.

When you dance, you can’t scream hateful rhetoric.
You can’t throw rocks or blame.
You can’t break windows or bones.
Your anger is channeled
And transformed into calm.

When we’re calm, we can hear each other.
When we’re calm, we can help each other.

So even though it feels wrong to dance,
Perhaps we must.

Perhaps we must dance
Because we need its magic.
That magic that happens when chaotic emotion is transformed
Into powerful rhythm.

Perhaps we must dance
To reintroduce order and flow
And beauty and peace
Back into the world.

Perhaps we must dance to save ourselves
And to save each other.

So dance, my dear dancers.
But do it with purpose.
Dance here, now, so your light can shine.
Dance to listen.
Dance to understand.
Dance to empower and inspire good in this world.
Dance with trust, reason, and compassion.
Dance for others
And dance for yourself.

Remember:

We are the music makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams; —
World-losers and world-forsakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
    Of the world for ever, it seems.

Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We Dance

We’ve made it through another difficult week. I spent the week not sleeping well, working the day job, and reading and listening to multiple points of view on the issues. I also “muted” myself on social media in favor of discovering new-to-me BIPOC dancers and artists and sharing those instead. I’ve linked a few favorites at the end of this blog post.

I didn’t do much dancing. I took Teacher’s online technique class on Wednesday, but I skipped the various dance fitness classes I’ve been taking. I didn’t do any exercise really, aside from walking the dogs. Reality was just weighing too heavy on my shoulders. By the end of the week though, I was feeling the urge to do something creative. To dance, or to write. I was also feeling the urge to clean. A clear space can lead to a clearer mind.

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It’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing right now

Officially two weeks in with this new “stay at home” reality (technically it’s been about a week and a half by order of the state but I started earlier). Week 1 was stressful and surreal, like “crap, is this really happening?” Week 2 was more contemplative. Yes, this is happening and it could be happening for a long while.

It’s been interesting to see how the dance community has reacted to their entire industry essentially being put out of work until further notice. Some reacted quickly to shift their services online and minimize disruption of their business. Some have shifted to giving away their services and asking for donations to keep them afloat. Others are simply showing up online frequently with inspirational messages and short dance demonstrations to encourage people to keep moving. The common thread is no one is ready to give up.

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All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Dancer

Happy holidays, dancers! I was gifted a poinsettia today, so that means I have officially started decorating the apartment for Christmas. Between getting sick immediately after Thanksgiving and a packed schedule, I just haven’t had much time to clean and break out the holiday decor. I’m sure Santa will understand if the poinsettia is as far as I get.

I know some of you have been busy too with end-of-the-year competitions including Ohio Star Ball, South Open Dancesport and Holiday Dance Classic. It dawned on me after my last lesson that it’s only two months until my first competition goal of 2020 (California Open). I had a brief “oh shit” moment as the doubts all popped up like prairie dogs in my brain. It still feels like I have so much work to do!

That work isn’t what I wanted to write about today though. Recent experiences have reminded me how important it is to just tap into your creativity and play.

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Getting Back on Track

In the last two weeks, I’ve had two back-to-back conferences (two days and three days) plus a one-on-one meetup about business, I’ve been interviewed twice about the books and journals I’ve published, and I consulted on interviews with other dancers. And I still managed to feed myself and my dogs and get to the day job on time. For an introvert like me, it was a LOT! While I’m grateful for all of these opportunities, I’m also grateful to be able to stay home for most of the weekend and do quieter things like write this blog post and go to the studio tomorrow for solo practice.

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Countdown to Embassy Ball 2019: 4 Days -Final Preparations

Seeing “4 days” written out feels a lot sooner than just thinking “Thursday” in my head. It’s so close! After a year of financial roadblocks, physical injuries, and training at a more advanced level all at the same time, I’m finally returning to the competition floor. My last competition was Embassy Ball 2018, where I took the World title at the Closed Silver level. Now I return to try my hand at the Open level.

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