when i was younger i danced for years. modern and then ballet. i was not very good. okay, let me rephrase that, i was okay. but the problem was i just had no awareness of my body. at all. i had no natural rhythm.
as my friends would say, it seemed i had no control over my limbs. zero.
ballet was better. i loved it. all that structure. it fit. it's like the rhythm was built in. i just came to it too late. i was 18 when i first tried ballet and then did it on and off in my early 20s. but then i just sort of hit a wall where i knew i would never advance and it became frustrating. and i didn't want to go back to modern dance because by then, at that age, it's all about the woman energy and the sharing. shudder. no thanks.
so what does a frustrated former dancer do?
speakers. i started dancing on speakers in clubs. not at first. at first i just started dancing in clubs and i loved it. went every night. there was something so limitless and freeing i found dancing that way. something i never got with the choreographed dance. something i saw other fellow dancers have, it just eluded me at the time.
and that's when i realized i did actually have control over my limbs, that rhythm was indeed mine. have you ever tried to dance on a speaker? let me tell you, it ain't easy. throw in a couple of other somewhat scantily clad, sweaty, gyrating girls and it becomes downright dangerous. especially so when they'd play you dropped a bomb on me. baby. oy.
and i don't know what changed, how i tapped into what had probably been there all along. other than time and maturity, that usually does the trick for a lot of things. that and a lot of regular sex and a lot of drinking. that can help with personal rhythm, too. especially in the art of speaker dancing. (sorry mom, i had to put that in there)
the one thing i couldn't do was yoga. good lord yoga bugged the shit out of me. all that sitting and breathing and awareness. i tried it a few different times and each time i thought i was lucky to have made it out of the class without beating the shit out of someone. it seriously made me angry.
but that was then. now? well presently i have somehow lost my internal rhythm. i don't know how and i don't know when. but i seriously cannot dance in public ever again. i came to this discovery a few years ago at a wedding. i caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and not only was i doing the white man's overbite, i looked like elaine on seinfeld. you know that one where she says she's a good dancer but then she actually dances and she. is. not.
and it's not for the lack of regular sex and drinking (again. sorry, mom) i don't know what it is really. but y'all are lucky i spare you.
but curiously, now i absolutely love and totally rock on the yoga. except, you know, when i'm injuring my back in the senior citizen class.
it is this spirit that i am happy to bring back from hiatus this week's moment(s) of zen.
i would also like to dedicate this to the genius who was merce cunningham. national treasure, local boy. you were a force and an inspiration. especially to the rhythmically inept. may you rest in peace, sir.