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Dancing Happiness

July 21st, 2010

When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. [Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance*]

dance couple russianYesterday, on my ‘experience’ wanderings (that’s what I like to call them) I happened into a bar where a few, maybe 30 or so, people were learning to salsa. As a side line, at £5 a head, that is not a bad little pocket money enterprise. Salsa is big in the UK and I think most major cities have at least one salsa night at some local establishment. Dozy Wolverhampton apparently has three! Members of my family have occasionally tried to tempt me into ‘trying’ it. It got me thinking.

I do not believe there are bad dancers; I believe that most bad dancers are people dancing to music that is not them. Dancing to me is like dreaming awake, the music takes you on a journey in your head and your body wants to go with the flow. Your thoughts are your body’s teacher and the dance may change depending on the mood, depending on the music. It has been said that music and by extension dance is something we are born with – that is why mothers sing to their babies – and every human culture has music and dance. It is part of being human.

I don’t like salsa or other types of learned dancing, a fact my mother realised when she stopped trying to teach me to waltz and foxtrot and that other nonsense. I am a thinking man, translating other people’s actions into my own takes time and when the motivation is not there, it tends not to happen. Yet I dance all the time. With young people in my household, music is always a background noise and if I like a song, I might do a quick few steps or a few more at anytime, just like that, sometimes to the embarrassment of my children.

Seriously though, if you have been told you can’t dance, you can, find the right music and keep dancing. If you don’t dance, start right now, it is like a breath of fresh air for all of those 3 minutes worth of song. Do it alone, do it with others whatever you do take a little time to dance. If you really must take some salsa lessons near you and you get to dance with lots of girls/boys….

And here’s a plus. My dear 60 plus mother, no actual age given due to the danger of her spoiling her chances of finding me a new step-father, has used her love of dancing to lose weight and keep it off. She has done fantastically well. With over 300 songs on her MP3 player – she is hardly likely to get bored very soon and she spends just an hour a day dancing away in her own little piece of heaven. Not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, you could use that for exercise instead of the tedious gym trips. I plan to dig up some dance music later, time to follow my own advice.

May you find the balance.

*written by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers

[First published on my Talking2Myself blog on specified date]