Life with Jesus

Put on your blue suede ankle socks…

What follows is a treatise on the history of my philosophy of dance. 

PFFFFT. Okay, you got me.  I was birthed by the woman who invented car arm dancing and you really can’t come back from that.

{Arm dancing-[arm dAn-singuh]- verb- moving only one arm in a Pharaoh-like motion while the car is moving; essentially dancing using only one arm}

Moving on, I will give you a little history of my trysts with the art of movement in chronological order, of course.

BIRTH TO FIVE YEARS OLD

While I’m fairly positive that my parents probably danced while I was in the womb, my first recollections of dance come from old home videos where I swayed back and forth to James Taylor on my parent’s Victrola while holding a stuffed gingerbread man approximately twice my size. All home videos of my parents and I dancing show us simply bending and straightening our knees, which was easy to do, even with a full diaper. So for the first few years of my life, dancing was simply bouncing up and down, not even necessarily to the rhythm.

Of course, once my sister was born, I had a dancing buddy and our routines got a little more involved. Of course a little more involved means Michael Jackson mixed with a touch of “Way Down Yonder on the Chatahoochie”. We were stars! At least we thought so…

I can’t remember if ballet classes were before or after my failed jaunt into the soccer world, but I loved it.  I was in tap and ballet. I particularly remember our final recital. Okay, I don’t really remember it but DO recall walking around in a circle and throwing a paper plate that had been Velcroed to our hands offstage. Also, our tap dancing outfit was like Carmen Miranda and it was the dress-up dress of the century for years afterwards.

ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE, and HIGH SCHOOL

In general, I avoided dances during middle school and the beginning of high school. I wanted to escape the hormone filled awkwardness. BUT you can’t escape family awkwardness!

My dad’s mom LOVES line dancing. So, naturally, when the entire family was together we would push the couch out of the way and all 10 of us would watch a line dancing video…..and then do it together. It sounds lame but it was actually really fun.

My mom’s mom LOVES to tap dance. So, whenever I would go to visit her, she would pull the TV into her garage and we would tap the afternoon away. Actually, I think we watched a Riverdance video, but it was all the same to me. She recently sent me some tap shoes and I love to use them, but they scuff up the floor.  Maybe someday I’ll have a garage that I don’t share with a neighbor who would think I was crazy if I tap-danced in the carport.

COLLEGE and BEYOND

I gave ballet another try in college. I took it as one of my required Kinesiology classes. We spent the first two thirds of our semester learning the ballet positions (Plie, plie). And then, our teacher realized that we hadn’t really learned anything and she shoved learning an entire two minute routine into the last third. THAT was my final. I probably annoyed my roommate by practicing endlessly for weeks so that I could not look like an idiot when I did it in front of my ENTIRE class. I probably annoyed my roommate by doing a lot of things. Sorry, Elizabeth.

Dancing with my husband is the best. Sometimes we’ll just put on some music and have our own rave in the living room. Not only is it good exercise, but it’s good fun! We got “Just Dance” to go with the Wii that we got for my birthday.  I love it.

I have this old window hanging on the wall in my living room. (facebookers click here) See?

You might think, “Oh that’s nice. Two really great dancers and one guy with a weird shaped head.”

Okay. Well, you might be right, but there’s also some meaning to it. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when David danced like a crazy person before the Lord (2nd Samuel 6). God had come through with a promise and David was just so excited that he had to prance and leap through the streets wearing nothing but a loin cloth. All the ladies were scandalized by this and David responds, “That was nothing, baby. I was celebrating before God.”

I love that idea of dancing with reckless abandon. I love the idea of just letting all your emotions and feelings out by moving your body. I love the idea of worshipping through movement.

We often squeeze worship into four songs on Sunday morning s and that’s it for the rest of the week but worship, praising God, being in His presence and enjoying Him, is so much more than that.

Sometimes when I’m alone at home, I’ll turn on my zune and just dance my little heart out. Yeah, I might be two stepping to Bad Romance or doing ballet to a Pink song and I might just look like an idiot (Okay, I’m pretty sure I look like an idiot) but there are moments when I just feel connected to God. Moments where I’m not worrying about work or dinner or the dog. I just am and there with me is my Savior. I need more of that in my life.

That’s how dance fits into my life and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be old enough to feel differently.

So there it is. The long, dirty history of my relationship with dance.

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