Monday, May 10, 2010

on danse

My body whispered something to me this morning, but I didn't listen.

Shortly past eight, I dragged myself out of bed and slunk upstairs for breakfast. I was moving slowly. Four hours of cooking and baking on Saturday, and more of the same yesterday (Thai-style noodles with Tahini sauce! Quinoa skillet bread! Stir-fry and chapati! Ginger rum cake! Chocolate almond torte!) had left me delirious, satisfied with the fruits of my labor and pretty well worn-out.

After a warm bowl of kamut flakes mixed with goat's milk and drizzled with maple syrup (don't knock it til you've tried it!), I futzed around for a bit, stressing about not really knowing where to go next with my dissertation. My body spoke again, more insistently this time.

"Go ahead, dance," it said. Sometimes my body sounds like an '80s pop song.

No way. Too tired.

Oh, but then I realized wherefore the dance suggestion. I felt stressed, and I needed a release. So, I set Pandora to the Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" channel, and started to bust a seriously uncoordinated move. Stefan worked away on his computer as I flung myself from one side of the room to the other, slicing through the air with my windmill arms. I did a sort of break-dance for a while and then cut to some kickboxing moves I remembered from my days with Kathy Smith's workouts. Sweating, huffing, and pink in the face, I threw my arms toward the ceiling, casting off the anxiety and breathing in energy, hope, and some much-need oxygen.

I danced a like an absolute fool, and it felt fantastic.

Dance like no one is watching? Dance like everyone is watching and you don't care one bit.

from a series I took of my sister, Cassandra, on the shore of the St. Lawrence River (Quebec, 2006)


  1. There's a song going through my head that we used to sing at the UU church in Charleston. It goes, somewhat, like this...."let it be a dance we do. Through the good times and the bad times, too, may I have this dance with you....."

  2. beautiful pictures. beautiful post. i often find that lying on the kitchen floor with my feet in the air has the same effect.

    have you heard of "authentic movement?"

  3. the other day I was driving down the highway when a friend called. She said, "I just drove by you and I think you can get arrested for dancing that frantically in the driver's seat." I was dancing to entertain Happy and hadn't even thought about the fact that other people could see me- it was a personal victory because the girl I was in high school sat in a chair while other kids danced. I think dance is so life and body affirming.