Dancing for Life!

December 25th, 2008 by

“Would you like to dance?”


I offer my hand to my dance partner of the next 3 minutes. She rests her hand in mine and the connection is made. For the next 3 minutes I am not alone. I am connected… connected more than a touch. We’ve started a conversation of our bodies. The first words of my body spoke just as the words of my mouth: I extend my hand… would you like to dance. Her first response mirrored the words of her mouth: she placed her hand in mine… I accept! From this point on we won’t use words of the mouth.

“Let’s move out on the dance floor.” I say by gently moving towards the center of the floor, taking my hand with me. Her hand, resting in mine, follows, “I would like to” and her body follows her hand. We move together.

A smooth stop of my body – transfered into my arm and then my hand and then her hand – tells her: this is the spot. A little more motion backwards tells her, “How about a spin to bring us around to face each other.” We face each other… for a moment time stands still. We exchange a look. I smile. She curls one side of her mouth, “I can tell you can dance. Let’s see what you’ve got!”

Every step we take is as if we are one body.

“Spin to your right here.”

“Okay, watch how I extend my leg and sweep around.”

“I like that, here goes my leg to mirror your sweep… do you hear that? The music is going to hit a break. Let’s jump and land knees bent and legs apart!”

“Got it! Now watch this… that sax solo screams for me to roll my body to the right.”

We feel connected. We feel the music. Nothing else matters. Nothing else exists. We are in the flow of this moment. A magical, beautiful flow of motion across the dance floor.

What was that!? Did I lead that? Did she back lead that?

We move to closed position. Our bodies are close… they are one. “Big step to your left and drag that right foot a long for a slick slide.”

“How much fun… here’s a foot flick to top it off….”

“I got it! I’ll mirror your foot flick.” How can I possibly mirror what she’s doing without a moments hesitation!?

Our faces beam the joy of this connection and flow. Our attention moves from the music to our connection to the expression of joy on our faces. She feels how I feel. I feel how she feels. We are intimately connected.

Whoa! I can’t believe we just did that. Where did that come from!?

Time has lost all meaning. The source of our motion is no longer a lead and a follow. We are one.

We say, “The end is coming. We feel a spin working into a slow body roll. Let’s lock at the end in an extended and open pose. … and … stop! … hold it hold it… good.”

The reality outside dance begins to return. Our mouths open to make some sounds, almost strange to our ears. “Thanks for the dance.”

“You, too.”

We turn our separate ways. Nothing happened.

I walk outside and sit for a while. That reality… was it real? That was amazing. There must be something more to this life. Is this some experience limited to dancing? Why hasn’t anyone told me about this? This is amazing. The blinds have been opened and I see a whole new world!

I have no coordination. Can I Swing Dance?

December 22nd, 2008 by


Coordination can be developed. And in fact, malady everyone has some coordination; everyone has some ability to do complex motions. Tying shoes, link washing dishes, walking while putting on a hat, just about every motion you make is a coordinated effort of different parts or muscles in your body. What feels like uncoordinated is really just a combination of motions you haven’t yet learned.

You may be thinking: but it is difficult for me to learn, you don’t want me in your class. Yes, some things are challenging to learn. The process of learning can even be frustrating. The question is: are you motivated to learn to dance? If you want to learn to dance, you will be successful!

The secret to your success lies in your ability to allow your body to learn the motions at its own pace. Enjoy the current things you are able to do. Laugh at the funny things your body does when you try something new! I may be an expert dancer, but I still learn new dance moves, frequently. Not only that… you’d be amazed at how uncoordinated I look when I’m learning a new move. You’ll find me laughing in those same situations.

I have never had a student I cannot help learn to dance. I have had a few students whose body’s just seemed to not move in certain ways. With patience, private instruction, practice, and some fun exercises, the student and I have always been able to overcome the challenges of dancing!

You Can Dance!

December 18th, 2008 by

No coordination?

Afraid to make a fool of yourself?

Don’t know where to start?

Don’t have a partner?

Too busy?

Is there anything else stopping you from dancing? I’m here to tell you: You Can Dance!

Dancing is the way we move our body when we feel good and want to celebrate. You see the football players in the in-zone do this all the time. I bet… you have done it, disinfection too. In a time when you were really happy, excited, or felt like celebrating, I bet you did a little dance. Sometimes that dance is as simple as throwing the arms high in the air and proclaiming “Yes!” (verbally or mentally). When you feel that energy inside… that excitement for living… you are feeling the inspiration to move your body to no purpose except to express your good feeling. That’s dancing!

What about those ballroom dancers and swing dancers and those people on “Dancing With The Stars”? Isn’t that really what dancing is? No. They are dancing, for sure. But the dance they do is a particular way of celebrating how they feel. You don’t have to learn that way of celebration. You can express your joy of living any way you want. And you may just decide you want to express it through ballroom dancing or swing dancing or contra dancing or salsa dancing or clogging or tap dancing or some other kind of dancing. My point here is that you are already dancing in your life.

You celebrate your life and express that celebration through movement. You are a dancer!