Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Dancing and the way it makes my heart ache.

Lying on the floor tonight in a cool dance studio, half lit by
daylight florescent tubes, I felt my back ache and my heart ache along
with it. We were supposed to the cooling down, but the smell of sweat
and feet and lycra and jersey, and the soft but hard feeling of a
sprung floor took me back into my past. I has 15, 16, 17, 18, dancing
6 nights a week, able to dance phrases of Cunningham, Alston,
Anderson. Meeting Christopher Bruce in the dance studio at school on
the off chance, learning about contact improvisation and how to lift
people, and how to dance to silence.

My poor young but old bones. My joints are tight and I can't feel free
when I move. Leaden with 5 years of not enough dance, using the wrong
muscles in the gym, not the ones for dancing. But when I stop worrying
about all the bright young things in the class watching me as my non
existent movement memory fails me and I dance in the wrong direction,
I feel alive. I feel my soul stir and my heart soar.

This is always who I was. Someone who used my whole body to express
myself. I breathe in and I breathe out, feeling my thorax swell and
feel my centre in this place. Here I am talking to God in this place.
In this sweaty, painful now.

1 comment:

Mel said...

This is what my Mum used to say about dance. Its not about how you look when you're doing it- it's how it makes you feel. I remember her commenting on the performance of a bellydancer. She said that it wasn't like a performance, the dancer was lost in herself and her own expression- and that was beautiful.

The feeling of dancing is what made me (makes me) keep doing it even though I struggle with coordination, even though I have never been good at remembering sequences of steps, even though I can't leap as high as I would like to. It still makes my body, mind and soul feel alive.