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Fly Like A Bird

by Mick

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 run!

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 you dance.

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.

Mick 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.

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