Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dance because You Can

  I guess you could say I've had an epiphany of sorts since my last sorry post. I was losing interest in dance, feeling like I just wasn't going anywhere and my better days were behind me. I felt like if I couldn't have a prestigious career then it wasn't worth the bother. And probably most of all I was practicing ageism on myself, influenced by the belief that the old need to move on & make way for the young. Find a rocking chair & fade away.

  Sometimes you need a good dose of reality, a knock on the head, a wake up call. You don't get to this age without people close to you falling ill, being injured or leaving this earth way too soon. And lately I feel like I'm getting slammed with bad news, enough to break my heart. It certainly makes you do some soul searching, & makes you so grateful for what you have & what you can still do.

                                                                This is 60. March 2016

  For today I am so grateful that I have no aches & pains. I am so grateful that I can still dance. I am so grateful for the dear people I've surrounded myself with. I'm grateful for every day I wake up.

  And so I recently put the eyelashes on, put the costume in the bag, & headed off to perform in my comfort zone - a small venue with live music. I hadn't prepared, didn't know what the musicians would play, I tried practicing around the house a bit but decided I was better off just leaving it to chance. But I went without reservation, which is more than I can say for my usual fussing & balking. I did it to celebrate this newfound gratefulness, to honor my friends who don't have the luxury of that choice: to dance or not. Because if you can do it, then why not? Why not say "I've survived, I'm still here & I'll dance while I still can".

  I watched a documentary on Loretta Lynn, one of many older artists who has inspired the younger generation. Musicians tend to have a reverence for their elders that dancers don't have. Dance can be a little superficial. Young & beautiful = respect. Old = has-been. But why do I have to care about such shallowness? If I can still dance, can still express myself, then I should. So from now on I will try on my new attitude & just do what I want. Isn't that one of the benefits of old age? The right to not care what anyone else thinks, to just do what I do because I want to? I'm going to ride that wave a while, in honor of those who can't. With love.