Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dancing into Neverland

Okay, I have not carried out my pledge to dance every day in 2014, but I did make it safely through two recitals last weekend, and I smile whenever I think about it.

It's not that everything went smoothly. Backstage, young children went stir-crazy, show-runners were frustrated by the recital's complicated format, and many dancers (including me) panicked their way through ultra-quick costume changes. I won't know how our dances looked to the audience until I see the video, but it was fun and it we seemed to do a good job.

Our adult tap class--three enthusiastic women with mixed skill levels and two high-school students who are avid dancers--never made it through an entire practice without mistakes. But in performance our rule was "Keep smiling and keep your feet moving." In our pirate routine, "keep smiling" was replaced by "stay in character."

We were cast as pirates because the whole recital was a dance version of the Peter Pan story. In a typical recital, you just bring each class onstage, start the music, and let them dance. This year, the show was a continuous production number. Each piece of music flowed right into the next, and getting onstage exactly on cue was often tricky. Tuesday's dress rehearsal was a nightmare, with the director and teachers struggling to have the right people in the right places (and in the right costumes) at the right times. But at Friday and Saturday's performances, there were only a few minor bumpy transitions.

While I care a lot about hitting my cue and doing things well, it surprises me that I experience no stage fright (unlike when I do public speaking). In fact I had great fun adding little flourishes to my pirate character--a snarl here, a menacing gesture there.

As I left Saturday's show, a woman approached me to say she was inspired by my dancing and was considering joining our class. She said she last took lessons when she was about 5 years old. I told her that was my story, too, and I'd started back last year at age 70. It turns out she is 73. I should have gotten her name so that in case she doesn't register I could call to encourage her.

Just after that, a young man about 30 years old approached. "I just have to tell you that I think you are inspirational," he said. His wife seemed almost apologetic. After all, what he was saying was, "You dance pretty well for an old person." But I was happy for the positive reinforcement.

Here's the secret: I dance like nobody's watching, even when I know that they are. And I love it.

Sometimes I wish I'd rediscovered dancing many years ago, but then I remember. I love it now. This is the only moment I have. I need to get up and dance now.


23 comments:

Linda Myers said...

You've rediscovered it now. Good enough!

I had no idea I liked to dance - in spite of several years performing in high school and community musicals - until my husband and I took line dancing and two-step dance lessons last winder. So fun!

For some reason, people our age who don't dance sometimes think people our age who do - are inspirational!

Stephen Hayes said...

You ARE inspiring, and you look great in the photographs.

Pauline Persing said...

Sounds like great fun.

DJan said...

I have another friend here in Bellingham who loves to dance. She's in my hiking group, is 74 this year and puts people way younger than her to shame. Today I saw this on another blog, and I just know you'll enjoy it, too: http://youtu.be/JOoNOs8Ql28

Bob Hope and James Cagney in a terrific tap dance routine. :-)

Jeanie said...

I would love the dancing...I'm not so sure about the recital part, but everything in this post says it was a very fun experience for you.
Ha ha-I know what you mean about those compliments that say you do that very well (leaving "for an old person" unsaid).

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like you had a blast! Good for you! :)

Teresa Evangeline said...

Oh, it sounds wonderful! and you are inspirational ... at any age! I need to get my you know what and my feet moving a whole lot more! :)

jshawflamm said...

It's wonderful to see you now have time to cultivate an interest, an art, that gives you so much pleasure!

Jeanie said...

Yay! I have missed you! Your posts, your visits, Vi and Augie and dancing! I hope you're back for a bit!

Kc W said...

Your post is inspiring. I wish I could find someplace nearby that had good adult dance classes. I must keep looking.

troutbirder said...

Most interesting. I don't think I could do this publically. Perhaps terror filled memories of my youthful piano recitals above the, I think it was something Broiler on downtown 7th street and the cross street between Bridgemans and the Public Library....

Jayne Martin said...

How fun! Good for you. Dancing keeps us young and you know what they say, "Move it or lose it." :)

Pearl said...

I think this is wonderful. There are so many opportunities to create and we should all be so exuberant as you!

Pearl

Grandmother (Mary) said...

How fun! Good for you for having a great time and keeping dancing! I love the costumes.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Nancy! This is a huge thing to do! Congratulations. Love the costumes! Indigo x

ce8d632a-647c-11e3-94d3-000bcdcb2996 said...

Balance your spiritual energy and get in harmony with your soul by practicing these Radha-Krishna meditations.


Sri Gita Govinda
-A book written in the 12th century, this is a description of the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna
http://www.mediafire.com/view/keqr4lqp7wr1rru/Sri_Gita_Govinda.pdf

Govinda Lilamrta
-An 400 year old book which poetically describes the eternal daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna
http://www.mediafire.com/view/uhcuigauc6uqiei/Govinda_Lilamrita.pdf

Ananda Vrindavan Campu
-This is probably the most poetic and intimate portrayal of Sri Krsna’s life in Vrndavana that has ever been written.
http://www.mediafire.com/view/k9j3ldwbt17be3b/Ananda_Vmdavana_Campu.pdf

Prayers of Service to Radha and Krishna (Sankalpa Kalpadruma)
http://www.mediafire.com/view/lvkqsro3sbzm249/Visvanath_Cakravarti_Thakur_Sankalpa_Kalpadruma.pdf

Prema Samputa The Treasure Chest of Love
http://www.mediafire.com/view/mpbncdyt97nw0x7/Prema_Samputa_The_Treasure_Chest_of_Love.pdf


And the following four are taken from Visvanath Cakravarti's Camatkara Candrika, a 300 year old scripture that talks about the love meeting of Radha and Krishna:

The Meeting in the Box
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The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Doctor
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The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Singer
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The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as Abhimanyu
http://www.mediafire.com/view/911h9qoxn4ca027/The_Meeting_of_Sri_Krsna_Disguised_As_Abhimanyu.pdf


And lastly, we have the supreme scripture which describes the 24 hour daily loving affairs of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan, called Bhavanasara Sangraha. This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle, for only $3.49

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Here is a 41 page sample of Bhavanasara Sangraha:
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The above book can also be read on your PC using Amazon Kindle for PC, download here for free:
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Midlife Roadtripper said...

So enjoyed this. And impressed. I retried tap dancing about ten years ago. At the end of Session One, the teacher suggested I retake it rather than moving on with my friends. Guess it just wasn't my think anymore. Had fun though.

So impressed.

The Loerzels said...

I didn't realize we shared a love of dance. And the smiling thing is the hardest part. And I would say the most rewarding is being an insipration to others who pervceive they either couldn't or shouldn't. BRAVO!

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

Fun! I love the pirate costumes.

You won The Lego Movie from my blog giveaway. Congrats! Please send me your address to Princess543@yahoo.com

Retired English Teacher said...

You are inspirational. I have two left feet. I do love to dance though. I should go sign up for some lessons. What fun this was for you. You GO GIRL!

Jenny said...

Love that you're doing this!

Bravo for you...

And a one...and a two...now dip...now twirl...

You are an inspiration!

Anita said...

I'm glad that you are LIVING your life! Fun and inspirational story to read.

Jayne Martin said...

Good for you! It looks like you're having a total blast. I'm 65 and looking for a hip-hop class to take. Woo-hoo! They can't keep us down. :)

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