the most epic Friday Night Waltz ever
One of my favorite things about dancing is its potential for creative,
energetic play between two adults who are too old for anything but
work now. And by god, tonight we played.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate that Lewis Hom was one of my very first
partners ever; otherwise, I might never have got it into my head that
dancing should be playful and should break the mold whenever possible.
Lewis, thankfully, came to Friday Night Waltz tonight, and with him,
one of my original reasons for choosing to dance.
I have heard it said that the very best couple dancing looks
telepathic, like the lead and the follow are moving as one. I swear we
did that tonight.
One game I’ve learned in improv is the mirror game. One person, A, is
first designatd the “leader.” B is the follower. A will make some sort
of gesture, any kind of gesture–perhaps a funny face, perhaps rocking
back and forth–really, anything, and the job of B is to follow. Later
in the game, A and B switch roles, and even later, the official
designation is null and void. A and B will each lead or follow on
their own initiative, strictly as the spirit moves them. A well-played
mirror game, much like a well-done dance, looks like A and B have
independently chosen to do exactly the same thing.
Usually when I’m dancing with someone, even with someone who I trust,
I worry that I might do something wrong, or that I’m getting off
tempo. I get too analytical; I think, rather than feel. Not so this
Lewis and I were A and B tonight. I might do something crazy, like
sinking so low to the ground I ended up crawling, and Lewis would
follow, or Lewis might take it into his head to pretend that he was
pumping iron, and I would follow. Maybe sometimes we just boogied
independently–I know I did multiple consecutive free spins, and I’m
not quite sure what Lewis did during those–but even those independent
turns were collaborative at their core.
This is what happened. I danced tonight with someone who I trusted
enough to drop all inhibitions and strictures about how our bodies
ought to move, so that we might have the richest vocabulary possible
to express the music.
And tonight, we wrote one hell of a story about the joys of being alive.