Reading this will not improve your Cha-Cha.
They say human beings were born to dance, but I know with absolute certainty that I was born to walk, or perhaps stand. What I really do well however is nap. We have a sacred family motto that reads – in case of fire, do not wake, just move to a safe location.
I love dancing. The noun, not the verb. I love watching, not doing. The idea, not the activity.
I seem to have inherited the man-gene that encourages me to lean on a wall, like I did at all my grade school dances, and observe the motion and commotion. Of course, on the other hand, who doesn't love a slow dance? Its like hugging while moving in a circle, and it is twice as blissful while Stairway to Heaven is playing. Not because it is the best ballad, but because it is seven minutes and fifty five seconds long!
This post is not about dancing, well, not my dancing anyhow.
This reflection is about my little daughter and what she has taught me this week.
She is five years old and she loves to dance. Not just dance, she loves to perform!
I have had privilege of being in the front row of her many performances. She twirls. She flops. Sometimes she inadvertently hurts herself. But she was born to rise again.
This has become somewhat of a routine.
We are invited to the living room. The young lady requests that appropriate and energetic dance music be played, and we sit attentively and observe. The performance begins, and lasts for as long as we let it. I often get nervous because I know eventually I will get asked to dance. I never want to, but I always say yes. I cannot break a little girls heart.
My daughter taught me an invaluable lesson.
A friend of ours gave us the name of a wonderful children's group that sings and dances, and all their performances are available on YouTube. All their videos have twenty-five or thirty million views and it is no wonder because these videos are very well produced, professionally recorded, and beautifully choreographed.
The change in my daughter was remarkable.
For twenty five minutes, she became her father and found a metaphorical wall to support her, and she never danced. We waited and waited for her to begin, but she never did. There was no twirl, there was no flop, absolute stillness.
I think about her every day. I cannot shake her anxiety from my consciousness.
When no one is watching, we dream dreams and will ourselves do anything. When we seek the approval of others however, or encounter peers that are more seasoned with experience; we become numb. We retreat. We hide, and cuddle up to our security blanket.
This is the safe thing to do but it always kills our spirit. We were not born to be numb, to retreat, or to hide. We were born to live, to share, and to dance.