A Perfect Day of Dancing
Every once in a while I experience a perfect day of dancing. The sheer possibility of it inspires me to keep reaching for it, and my age inspired and more fluid definition of perfection makes it frequently attainable.
When I was a young dancer, perfection was a goal rarely, if ever achieved. A day I soared while jumping, turned like a top, and wasn’t horrified by my powerful thighs. That was my rigid definition of perfection. It was all physically driven, and really, always just out of reach. When I was twenty five, my back blew up for the first time. And suddenly, everything I took for granted was gone. At thirty, I had major back surgery, and all the physical things that defined me were changed.
My powerful (and much maligned) thighs would help my compromised back still dance. The feet with low arches were strong enough to work despite the nerve damage.
Gratitude was the new attitude, and so a perfect dance day had new meaning.
Some days if the body is aching and tired, getting through in a loving patient way is perfect. Other days, when I am strong and energized, and I can really move, and I feel every step like a heartbeat.
But more and more, a perfect dance day is the connection I feel to my students and fellow dancers. Perfection is seeing the young people I teach light up when dance touches something inside of them, and they are suddenly more than they just were. Other times, it is the bursts of laughter that come during rehearsals and classes, when despite many great efforts something ridiculous occurs, unplanned falls, collisions or solo moments causing moments of hilarity. Or as often happens, one of our company or studio dogs, joins in the dance or gives a barking opinion. And I have many perfect days with my adult students who year after year continue to come to my class often after long work days, and bless me with their energy, humor, adult perspective and their joy in moving.
And so I think like dance, goes life. Maybe a perfect day is when we can get through a tough day with love and patience; with grace. Grace, my favorite word, as it is both a physically and spiritually charged word. A word that gives meaning to our movements, actions and intentions.
When we have the grace to move lightly through the world with humor and joy, it will be both a perfect dance day and a perfect just being a human day. So here’s to all the days when we dance through life perfectly, with joy, love and the ever important laughter.