I am an incurable romantic, because my mom and dad danced. They danced at weddings, of course, and at New Year’s Eve parties, naturally, but I remember them dancing at home….my mom in a Grace Kelly-glamorous red dress that hugged her waist and poofed out all around her, or in a woolen skirt that had seen better days, or in p.js. Dancing didn’t require anything, but a good song and each other.
I spent the better part of my dating- years looking for a dance partner. Someone who could cup my right hand inside his, my waist in the crook of his left arm, and my face so close I could feel his breath without ever touching lips. This was difficult because dancing went through a bit of a rough patch in the seventies when peace, love and Woodstock ushered in an era of slow dancing that resembled partnered sleep walking.
As I grew older, tiiredness suffocated the dream to dance like a flicker of a candle being extinguished with a snuffer. Unless you count the endless hours I sat watching my daughter, Annie, dance at ballet recitals, or the millions of Nutcrackers I endured, or the comical attempts to alter dance costumes, dance just wasn’t part of my life…at least not the “dance like there’s no one looking kind of dancing.”
But, now, I’m thinking of the challenge of finding “one little word” at this bend in the road, and the one little word that keeps popping in my head is…dance. Because, when we dance, we live in the moment, freely, embracing life and breathing it in….not waiting for the moment, but making the moment happen.
So, I’m dancing with my husband, grabbing his hand and feeling his breath close to my cheek, dancing with my sister at Bruce Springstein concert like I wished I hadn’t been too shy to do when I was 19, dancing with my little neighbor girls on the Thursday night before the first Bar Mitzvah. dancing with Sophie, my precious little granddaughter and my 87 year old dad on a Sunday night, because my dad is playing Nat King Cole’s Stardust and it’s twilight in so many ways.
And this dancing, I think, shouldn’t just be limited to the dance floor, but to the way I live each day. Open to possibilities, looking for moments to celebrate, seeking joy, and leaving space to imagine and create and move through my days, romancing the ordinary.
“If the neighbors look in the windows, they’ll think we’re nuts,” my dad said on that Sunday night.
“No. Well, they probably won’t think our dancing is glamorous or romantic, but I bet they’re saying, ‘My, aren’t they lucky? It’s a Sunday night and they’re dancing in the living room.”