Saturday, July 25, 2009

dancing in the light

is for...

Dogs * Dairy Queen * Dreams * Dancing * Doughnuts * Decorating * Diversity * Drama * Delight * Decisions * Daffodils

Today's list feels sparse after yesterday's riches. Such is the nature of language! There is nothing sparse about my affection for dogs, however, and regular readers of this blog are well aware of that. Nor, for that matter, is it easy to contain the joy I receive from dancing, the Scottish country kind especially.

My Dad and I had been to a touring performance of the Black Watch, stirring up my love for things Scottish and prompting me to look for an opportunity to learn Highland dancing. Though instruction in Highland wasn't easy to find, right down the street, a mere three blocks away, was a local Scottish country dance group (and Clare, if you read this, the picture here is of the group in Auckland!). One night I trotted myself to the church hall where they gathered and was immediately hooked. I had a knack for it, and dove in. It wasn't long before I was dancing with the demonstration team, making ball gowns, and learning to teach.

The appeal of Scottish country dancing, to me, is layered. It involves precision: footwork, deportment and teamwork. It consists of patterns, a facet that appeals to engineers, mathematicians and musicians (and others). It's hard to keep still to the music (though there are some dreary renditions), especially when fiddles are involved. It connects me to my heritage, and the array of tartans as seen in kilts and ladies' sashes is colorful and rich. And, it's something I do well!

After getting to know the dances and learning the variety of steps I began to see possible combinations of these things, and it wasn't long before I was writing dances of my own, some of which have turned up on ball programs! An opportunity to participate in a local summer production of Brigadoon led to the experience of choreographing for the stage (was that ever fun!), and then...

The ultimate Scottish danceaholic dream imaginable: two weeks touring Scotland to dance in castles, with our own musicians. I don't think another vacation will ever top this, and I am so grateful to have indulged in the trip of a lifetime when I did. The following year I was off to seminary, and dancing, not to mention the availability of it, has been hard to fit into my life. But I have wonderful memories, a closet full of ballgowns (not exactly something for which Goodwill has a use), great friendships, and the soul-satisfaction of experiencing the fullness of something that brought me utter joy and contment. It is this that is akin to dancing in the Light, literally and figuratively. It's a God thing, as my friend Nancy would say, to feel the presence of the Spirit as the music begins, I rise up on the balls of my feet and whirl through the patterns of dance and life.
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Jayne said...

The trip to Scotland sounds like it was magical. Is there a dance place locally that does some Scottish dance?

Janet M said...

I was thinking the same thing with your background in the dancing and your talent there must be someplace you could put that love in your life back in.

mompriest said...

Such a lovely reflection on "D"...

Jan said...

Lovely thoughts.

AND here's a question: HOW do you place all those pictures together? I only know how to post one.

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