Last night, like so many of the nights of my life, I took a dance class. At this point in my life (I’m 54) I don’t find very many opportunities to take a class.
I drove 45 minutes to take an 8:30-10:00 jazz class with Todd, terrorized by the possibility that I might humiliate myself the entire way there. I was the only dancer that showed up. Todd held the door open for me to enter and held the class anyway. Great. So many more possibilities to humiliate myself waited in the empty dance studio.
The Boston Marathon bombing was yesterday. Todd moved here to Phoenix from Boston. It was a rough day for Todd. Not as rough as for many in Boston, but for someone removed and unable to help, rough still. But he stayed present to teach a class to one person…a 54-year-old dancer who rarely gets into class.
Last night, I didn’t have the right footwear for pirouettes, my left knee didn’t…my balance wasn’t quite…my butt refused to…I only wanted to sous-sus with the my right foot front even when the left foot front made more sense, but Todd and I danced together anyway in a style from back in the day. Back in a good day.
Last night was stepping back to a time when I got to move with music to choreography somebody else created. This is a luxury I cherish now. This is a luxury that used to be “usual.”
I forget that I love to dance. Deeply. Dearly. Last night I remembered that our bodies were meant to soar and float and our souls were meant to breathe. Sitting in front of a computer it’s easy to forget.
We smiled. Almost the entire time. We had both danced with the same people back in New York, back in the day when twin towers still towered… with Luigi and with teachers still teaching: Hama, Doug Caldwell and I can never remember the other guys name…Claude Thompson! I had white high-top jazz oxfords back then. Humiliating shoe choice now, but so cool then.
Yesterday sucked for Boston, for America, for human beings. Art of any kind always gives us a pocket to climb into and escape. For me, dancing is my comforting, cherished pocket.
This morning the world is still the same, but for an hour and a half last night – it was a yesterday before terrorists.
A yesterday when dancing was usual.
Boston, I hope and pray you will find a pocket of escape for your soul to breathe and someday you will be able to remember your days before yesterday.
Thank you for taking the entire time to dance with me last night, Todd.
www.abbybelladance.com, Todd Bailey, instructor