Twinkle toes

Friday, December 16, 2016

I've never dreamt of wearing tutus or tie-up shoes. Grace and lithe serenity as befits a ballerina, weren't born with me in nature. I'm much more apt at sports and working in dirt.

I'm almost as flexible though...getting there anyways...

The most dancing I did as a kid was with my sisters to Swan Lake (usually performed in our dress-up tutus...), In the Hall of the Mountain (a song our mother used to get us to do our chores more quickly), and Peter and the Wolf. In my younger years I recall my Daddy leading me in the waltz with my sock-clad feet standing on his snake-skin boots (he used to call me "twinkle-toes"). I was raised on movies like Newsies, Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Meet Me in St. Louis...basically the old musicals with lots of fun dancing scenes.

I've always loved watching dancing. Especially when it looks like the dancer is having the time of their lives. As my taste in media and my view of the world and all of its many cultures has expanded, I have developed a love for actually dancing myself.

In High School I took a ballroom dance class. Rhythm, timing, form all came easily to me (with the younger boys in the class I usually ended up leading...which turned out to be very unhelpful later on as most 'manly' men don't appreciate the help...odd). Then my first couple years of college I went country dancing with my friends and roommates every Wednesday night (this is where me leading proved an annoyance...the line dances were my favorite).

Whilst searching for a fun elective, I stumbled upon African Dance (and gaped). I signed up for it immediately. I took it for three semesters in a row. Every class was enlightening, fun, energetic. The live drummers came to recognize me and I became fast friends with the hippy bunch (is anyone surprised?).

I want to be brown...and wear the black head piece on the left...

I'd always wanted to travel to Africa. Learning about the meanings behind the dances, moving to their ancient all made me feel like I was getting a taste of the rich African culture.

Recently (within the last couple of years) I was exposed to Bollywood. Hailing from India, it also comes from a deeply rooted traditional country. Bright happy colors flying around. Beautiful smiles on faces of the energetic dancers. The dances are exciting and fun with a lot of movement and happenin songs!

Dil Bole of my favorites...with my favorite actor...

I love trying out the dances and I can usually pick up on the chorus because they repeat the moves but usually the fun parts are on the it would take much repeating and lots of practice to get those down. I love the colors! They are so bright and happy which makes me happy so of course I want to copy them. My sister, Melissa, and I are now owners of some pretty sweet Indian outfits..(soon to be owning more...straight from India...)...

As a small child I was completely enthralled with the Native Americans. Pocahontas was one of my favorite Disney movies(might have had something to do with the fact I had a HUGE crush on the cute red-headed Thomas). Camille and I used to run around being little Indians...grinding berries to make medicines, making bows and arrows (not very good ones might I add), setting up real live traps for the mean neighbors, once we even rubbed dirt all over our skin so we were darker. The culture of the Native Americans is also rich and ancient and as with the previous groups, dancing means something and can tell stories about the People. 

Awesome. The end.
They look so passionate when they are dancing. I went to a Pow Ow with my roommate and I was just mesmerized! It was so powerful for them. It meant something to them and that touched me.

Riverdance. What the awesome?! It comes from a land of lore and mystery, of enchantment. This form of dance also comes from an long-lived country. The light and carefree music leads the dancers through frivolity and gaiety! Every dance exudes the bubbling laughter of the people or the misty mysterious beauty of their myths.

They look so mysterious and gorgeous. LOVE.
My sister, cousin and uncle all participated in lessons and my sister taught me a little bit. It was so fun and light and lilting...just like their music.


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