5, 6, 7 ,8

There is something sweet in dancing, some access to untapped girlishness and gentlemenly chivalry.  I quite enjoy it.  A dance, at least those of swing or waltz, invites its participants to claim a role, embrace a character, and play pretend.  I must confess that I do love being a follower, at least when the song is right, and my partner is graceful.

Last night I went swing dancing for the ump-teenth at the Tapestry on Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.


I've been dancing there on and off for three years now, and its always interesting to see how faces change and people grow.  Its a pretty hot spot for Northwestern freshmen during brother/sister hall nights, but there are a few us who've learned and stuck together through the past couple years.  I like that and I think its something I'd typically take for granted.  We see each other almost everyweek and we're vulnerable enough to try learn something together that none of us has "down pat".  Dancing really is a reflection of the journey we all go through in life - dependency, awkwardness, learning, self-awareness, maturing, independence, discovery, reflection, and more learning.  And all the while the characters change. 

There's definitely something romantic about it, not valentine's day romantic (ok maybe a little), but romantic with a capital "R".  There a harmony in the way the guy and gal work together, sure, its uncomfortable at first, but as you progress, the role of the man and woman starts to gel a bit more - unless you have the uneasy pleasure of dancing with someone who consistently doesn't get it (but even then, there's someone for him too).  Still, there's something wholesome and valuable in it - an unspoken understanding.  In "real life" - aka human interactions not on the dance floor - that kind of vulnerability and eventual harmony, is quite dangerous.