Dance Church was everything I wanted and hoped it would be, and more. I saw so many friends. We mostly danced our greetings and joy rather than spoke them. At Dance Church, there were just a couple rules: leave your shoes in the coatroom (unless you brought dance-floor only ones) and keep conversations off the dance floor. Simple. Easy to follow. Made space for everyone to do their thing.
It was so inspiring to feel entirely comfortable putting out your you however you wished without having to worry about anyone invading your space. When people did come into my space, they felt it out first and I did the same, which made our exchanges all the more joyous.
My hear feels SO full. I truly physically feel as though my heat is growing in size, like in the Grinch! I gave and received so many hugs, all welcomed. Several of them were with people whose names I didn't get to catch, and it doesn't even matter. Shoutout to the woman in the pug-doing-yoga tank! I'm realizing in my immediate reflection here that I've been craving something exactly like this. It's all ages. It's in the morning. The music is killer. The DJ feels the room, including bringing us down gently at the end so we could feel everything we had experienced and carry it with us in body, mind and soul when leaving. The people - from so many walks of life. There were physicalities of bouncing with cane, contact improv, bellydance, modern floor work, jumping up and down, and plenty of who-gives-a-shit what you call it!
I've been really missing going to festivals. I think it's because I've been romanticizing what I want from them - and really, what I wanted I found here. While I love the live music, friends and goof-off of festivals, what I really, REALLY want is TRULY open people with no auspices, free movement, good grooves, and for access to all this at a time of day that works for me. It was thrilling for this morning person to get to put it all out from 11am-1pm on a Sunday. MAGICAL. I also came across, by word of mouth and flyer, other opportunities that share some of the feel that happen from 7-9:30am on Tuesday and Thursdays - I will definitely be checking these out too!
I feel utterly ecstatic to add this opportunity to my awarenesses of things that will satisfy my social dance needs. I cannot wait to go back.
This week I also got my ass out swing dancing at 301 Main on Thursday night, which was totally refreshing. I am definitely going to keep going right at 10pm in the future - it was excellent to have plenty of space to dance and there were definitely people already out to get it at the beginning :) It was also wonderful to have a partner in crime in Kristina: I am so grateful she texted me a couple weeks back, because she's now very much on my radar again as someone with which to go out social dancing.
On a related note, it was fantastic to see so many dance community friends at Dance Church, each of them noting they are surprised more dancers don't come. I wonder if the organizers just don't know about the Dance Community Newsletter, or if they want to keep the word more controlled to be sure the folks who are coming are the ones who really want to be there. When chatting briefly with her there today and expressing my enthusiasm, Mary Ann Bradley said "Welcome to world peace," and she was totally right. So many different types of people working out their problems on that floor, together. It was utterly inspiring.
Back on a swing dance note, Kristina and I had some exchanges that were really lovely when talking about the purposes social dance serves in our lives. She mentioned that having started working in the emergency room of a hospital in a major metro area at the age of nineteen gave her soul a lot to process early on, and that swing dancing was her outlet to do so. She eloquently mentioned something about "that dance floor being the best listener, with her just stomping it all out." Talk about a totally beautiful way to phrase that.
I'm really glad I held myself to this new year's intention better this week after checking in with all of them last week. Experiencing live music, social dancing and interaction with folks in these scenarios GIVES ME LIFE, and I know I give life to others these ways too. While I'm bummed I missed the opportunity to hear some life music on Friday night, I really did hold myself true to this intention in several other ways this week, and I look forward to keeping myself right with this the best I can.