My Beautiful Wickedness


The dance (blogging against disabilism)
May 1, 2008, 11:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I love to dance and my dancing is of an untutored kind. I spin more than is probably aesthetically pleasing to others, my limbs going every which way, my knees knocking inward periodically and arms going out in that way you do when you started dancing in public around the time of Footloose. I can cha cha, tango hustle, bump, and Electric Slide; I can Macarena and Cotton-Eyed Joe. I mostly prefer to freestyle it, though, happily galumphing away to whatever’s on the radio. My style (hazardous, giddy, wide) is inimitable, infinitely variable.

I learned to be fully myself on the dance floor from dancing with a person with cerebral palsy. Her dancing is beautiful, the music fully inhabiting her as she makes the ordinary constrictions, pulses,
center shifts of her body the basis of her dance. I do not have her bodily experience of that spinning triangle of balance pausing and darting away, nor would I understand through conversation the way that a body must be tensed and loosened in repetition during the course of a day to deny gravity its prize. In dance, she flirts with the part of walking that is falling, and I see. What she brings to the floor I cannot. It is hers, inimitable and infinitely variable.

There is music in the hum of the world and daily it bids us dance. There’s room on the floor for everyone.

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6 Comments so far
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Bridgett:

Well said. I write poetry about dancers and musicians and that is at least as good as anything I’ve ever done.

I did some ballroom dance lessons a few years back and enjoyed the experience (if not the expense–$85 a week). I like the precision, not that I’m all that good at it. But I also like the sort of uninhibited joy of just moving to the music.

Do you contra?, there is a lot of that around Albany from what I’ve heard.

Comment by democommie

I have colleagues that contra dance, but I’ve never tried it. The AOH down the street offers step dancing lessons, there’s square dancing over in New Scotland, there’s a couple of troupes of Morris dancers locally that make the local labor celebrations on MayDay. It’s a good town for dance in general. There are a bunch of dance studios and dance companies and the Egg has a good contemporary dance line-up in the winter and spring. We’ll probably get tickets for SPAC too, so that my kid (who takes her dancing pretty seriously) can see the NYCB when they are in residence.

I’d love to take ballroom — particularly Latin, since I enjoy Cuban and Brazilian music and think I’d get a kick out of dancing to it. When I was doing musical theatre in my younger years, I always picked up choreography quickly and enjoyed partnered dancing. It’s a matter of money and time, at the moment. I have to pay for someone else’s dance lesons — mine can wait.

Comment by bridgett

Torn meniscus, huh? (just saw that over at MCB). So, are you going to face arthroscopy?

Comment by bridgett

Hey, I am humbled to be written about so nicely..many thanks for it. ….I still remember my best time…in the tuxedo at the end of senior year….

I needed to smile, and remember that stuff… It comes at a good time.

The flirting with falling thing, yeah, that was actually the best part.

Internal monologue “Just how far can I push this and avoid collapse, and then kinda listen to my feet and my shoes and make a guess…”

Comment by imfunny2

We had great times and I look forward to dancing with you again, however, whenever. Just maybe not to Kajagoogoo.

Comment by bridgett

Bridgett:

The orthopod gave me a little cortisone (I didn’t cry, not even one drop–thank you Mr. Novocaine!) and is going to have an MRI done. He thinks it may not be so bad. Of course that’s what the surgeon said last year, before he fused four of my cervical vertebrae. I’m a bit of a wreck, but still having fun. Ned Williams gives me a reason to live!!

Comment by democommie




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