Fly Like A Bird
When was your first dance experience?
Allow me to take you back in time to a
place that you might barely remember. You were four years old. Your
parents had taken you to a small playground. (Or anywhere outside.)
That playground was your first great Ballroom in the sky.
Your first dance frame was somewhat
like our Butterfly position. If you were in the old Butterfly
Position, and you turned your palms down, you would pretty much be
there. Your first rhythm was not the Waltz, or the Foxtrot, it was
the “Run as fast as you can”. You had just learned this new form
of dance. You had crawled, then walked, and now, suddenly, you could
The name of your first routine was,
“Fly Like a Bird”!
When you coupled running as fast as you
could with pretending to fly like a bird, your imagination could take
you anywhere. At first you might have looked a little more like a
butterfly than a bird. (Perhaps that is where the “Butterfly
position” got it’s name?) The rules of your first dance? There
must have been rules. Oh yes, I remember: “No spitting, and no
biting.” (You weren’t real big on rules when you were four.) Your
first partner? (Here I must use my imagination a little more.) In my
case, I’m always pretty sure it was whatever beautiful woman I
happen to be dancing with at any particular moment.
You do remember “Flying” with
another child don’t you? Who’s to say she/he wasn’t the
lady/man you are now dancing with?
The flavor of your first dance was
“pure joy and freedom”! You really couldn’t do much wrong. You
just ran as fast as you could (which was always faster than yesterday
because you were just learning how to run) and you pretended to be
flying. You had no technique, but even so, everyone loved watching
Back to your “Dance Frame” for a
moment. If you think back, you will remember that you formed a dance
line with your arms. When you turned, you dipped one arm, but the
other arm went up so you could keep your frame intact. A huge smile
was always on your face, and pure joy was always in your heart.
I haven’t watched a child “Fly”
in decades. The next time I see a child Fly, I will watch with a
different mindset. I will compare the child with the most polished
Professional Ballroom Dancers of our time. (Do you think the greatest
dancers of our time would want to compete with a child who can fly?)
I wonder how the child will compare
with the Pro? My guess is that the Pro will be perfect in every
movement. However, I think the four year old will show me what
dancing is really all about. The four year old will care nothing
about the eyes of those who only sit and watch. He will care only
about the pure joy of the dance. Later he will learn to do other
dances like the “Skip”, the “Jump”, the “Slide”, the
“Hop“, and even the “We All Fall Down”.
I don’t know about the rest of you,
but I am going outside and working on my “Flying”. I am gong to
try to do my “Skip”, and my “Slide”, and even my “Hop”. I
guess I better stay away from my “We All Fall Down”. Sadly, that
is the only dance form that seems to be getting easier with age.
lives in Arlington, Virginia, posts regularly to the Weavers
discussion group, and wants nothing more than to give his entire
heart and soul to the music and to his partner. This article was reprinted in DRDC newsletter, October 2010.