I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first. I was just eating my Beanburger sipping my ginger cider and listening to the music. Jon and I were at Brown’s Brewery last night with my friend Mandy listening to her partner Dave’s Blue Grass Band, Big Stone Gap.
Two women from the table next to ours got up and danced. I wanted to dance with them. That’s when I realized I had been dancing to the music all along in my head. Not the two-step, like the women in front of us, I was Bellydancing.
When the music slowed down, so did my imaginary dancing. And when it got too fast for me to keep count, I quit till the next song.
Jon leaned over and told he how when he lived in Dallas he learned to do the Texas Two-Step. Then he surprised me by asking me to dance. “My legs can’t move the way they used to,” he said to me. And then we were dancing.
In the past, I’d have to be drunk to dance in public. But last night as I twirled under Jon’s arm, I was so uninhibited I found myself letting go of his hand and doing the Bellydancing steps that moments before I was only imagining. I had to stop to get the beat, but then I was turning a bump and doing a Turkish Quarter Turn.
We danced through one song then started another when Jon said he’d had enough. We were on our way back to our table when a woman ran up to me saying, “I want to dance with her”.
I only had a vague idea of the kind of dance she was doing from watching the other women who were dancing earlier. But I found myself watching my new dance partner’s feet and following her lead. I didn’t hesitate, and if I stumbled, I don’t remember and wouldn’t have cared. I was having fun, listening to and feeling the music the way I never have before.
I know I couldn’t have danced that way if I haven’t been taking Bellydancing lessons for two and a half years. Because of the way I was hearing the music and also because I didn’t doubt that I’d be able to do a dance I didn’t know with a person I didn’t know. I just did it.
Jon and I came home feeling exhilarated. We haven’t danced in public in a long time. And somehow, it was just what we needed.
November is the worse month of the year for both of us. The days are cold, overcast, dreary and short. But last night listening and dancing to the music of Big Stone Gap, even though we were only 20 minutes from home, was like we entering a different reality. The whole experience took us out of ourselves, out of the ordinary for a couple of hours.
And a bit of the warm glow from last night has lingered in me.
My mind hasn’t been so quiet, so in tune to the moment in a long time. As if the music and dance flipped a switch in my brain, reminding me to allow myself to feel the unfettered joys of being human.