I take an adult dance class on Tuesday evenings. We follow a ballet class of five and six year olds all in pink leotards, white tights, high buns with straggly pieces. They leap and prance out of the class and rush into the waiting arms of the Mom or Dad who has come to get them. There are probably six of them. Add their ages together and you would not even reach forty years combined. Take two and a bit of us adults and you would hit one hundred easy. We are old. And not all that talented. But we make up for it with our earnest effort, our absolute enthusiasm and our ability to cheerlead for each other.
We attend these classes for a variety of reasons. Many of us have children who belong to the studio and we adore the instructor almost as deeply as our children love her. We wanted in on the fun! It’s also exercise. And a mental workout. Inexpensive therapy. Risk taking. A source of entertainment.
Each week our teacher demonstrates a few steps and then turns around to look at us. She takes in our confusion and slows it all down to take us through it count by count. Often, she starts with the feet and then adds the arms in later. Sometimes, we kind of get the arms or she sees enough potential that she believes that we might. Other times, she just tells us “freedom arms!” Let the music and the steps inform you. Let your arms move and swing in your own way.
She counts us though.
1 and 2. 3, 4. 5, 6 and 7 and 8.
She makes up hilarious sounds to match the movement.
5, 6, boom, boom cha.
We giggle. We shake our heads. We muddle through. She occasionally cheers, “Yes! You’re getting it!” Sometimes she pushes, “Give me something. Let me see it in your faces. Look up!”
I love Tuesday nights.
Last week, I taught some of my students some dance steps I had learned the night before. We had gone outside for a walk in the afternoon. The sun was shining. We weren’t going to go back in anytime soon. I demonstrated and a few girls were captivated. I instantly saw in them why I go to dance every week. The reckless. The happy. The joy of movement.
They drew dance paths with sidewalk chalk. The practiced again and again. They taught other kids. A few repeated steps with some bounces and jumps was a gift they could keep on giving.
The air filled up around us like a happiness bubble one of us drew on the pavement.
These girls taught me with their giggly leaps down the fluorescent pink chalk lines that it’s not about what you look like, it’s about how you feel.
When the dancing takes over, when you are moving and smiling and sailing through space. When you dance with your friends. When there is no judgement.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.