When I was 18, and until I almost 40, I danced. I moved. I bounced. No good groove could hit my consciousness without resulting in the exquisitely free feeling of being able to move to it sweeping over me, and utterly lacking any self-consciousness in the matter, I danced. I am not a trained dancer. I haven’t ‘studied’ accepted forms of dance or movement. I grew up on Soul Train, and hanging out listening to dance-able tracks, hitting the clubs in my 20s as much for the experience of dancing, of losing myself in the experience, as anything else.  It isn’t something I talk about much now; I still grieve losing that spark.

I don’t know when it actually happened. At some point I just sort of ‘froze up’. Oh, I still let go and feel the freedom to move now and then, but something inside me now quickly identifies it and puts and end to that shit as soon as I’m aware of it. What killed the dancing? I usually point to the arthritis, but my arthritis set in back in the early 90s. It wasn’t until much later than I lost the will to dance, and I remember the very poignant moment I finally noticed it had died.  Odd that I mention it this morning? No. Not really.

Yesterday at work I was thinking about it. Thinking about movement. About dance. Contemplating why I prefer one sort of music over another, and realized it has a lot to do with that ‘urge to move’; even without actually following through, I love music that drives dance. There’s incredible power in that freedom to move expressively, to celebrate with utter freedom, to let go of convention and self-consciousness and be, in motion. It is a different meditation. I miss the strength of it. I found myself thinking I might benefit from some truly novel experience, a departure from my norms, a return to more primitive pleasure in movement…or…something.

My email alerted me that I had a message; my partners asking me if I am interested in attending an event… a festival… a ‘sacred dance’ festival. Wait…what? That couldn’t be any more different that what I’m generally doing any given day of the week if it had been crafted to be so. It struck me strangely that it speaks to directly to the heart of the chaos and damage, inviting me to come and stare into the face of whatever has kept me frozen for so long. My fingers eagerly type an enthusiastic ‘yes’ reply of some sort while my demons sit back, quite astonished and helpless. I am tickled by the strangeness of it, even now, smiling and wondering what may come of it.

Happening.

Happening.

Sacred dance has a long history with human primates. Native American Ghost Dancing.  Bharatanatyam of the Tamil Nadu. Sufi Dervishes. Circle dances are multi-cultural, existing in many places, times, and cultures. There’s more. There’s always more. There’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ – creating a stage for some amazing art in a very commercial way. There are still nightclubs, and in spite of the comedy about it, even ‘twerking‘ is ‘real’ dancing (there are even handy YouTube tutorials!). “Ecstatic Dance” movements, tribes, events, and communities exist; human beings dance.

I miss dancing. Arthritis or not, I want to be movement and rhythm again; I want to dance. I suppose diving headlong into sacred dance as a shared sacrament and celebration is taking a bigger than small step… It is, however, the step I am taking. I wonder where it leads?

Today is a good day to take another look in the mirror. Today is a good day to explore all my potential – even the uncomfortable bits. Today is a good day to change the world.