November Sun & Shadows

What a spectacular dance this very morning.

A moment on the dance floor seeing the deep, bright, November sun streaming through the tall windows…making a perfect dark shadow of my hands and arms on the floor.

10:00 am: Glorious huge dance hall space, empty. Hanging splashes of color on windows with our bright fabrics.

10:02 am: Three new people come in, even though our signs are not yet posted and the chairs are not yet set out. We tell them what to expect, and feel so delighted to have them all.

10:03: Wires plugging in, huge heavy speakers set on tables, laptop fired up, electric chords taped above doors

10:06: Table laid with bright cloth, money-receipt box put out, sign up sheets for peoples names and emails, big notebook storing all the punch cards people have purchased for their dances, all alphabetized and filed and kept with us so no one has to remember to bring their punch card.

10:07: warm up music begins to play through the speakers

10:08: someone helps line up all the black chairs in one area of our dancing room, where people can sit and rest during dance whenever they like

10:10: floor swept, mats taped over metal squares on our wooden dance floor to protect people who dance in bare feet or sock feet.

10:12 yoga mats, yoga blocks, and musical instruments set out for people to use if they’re inspired

10:15 people coming, more and more, talking and greeting and saying hello, putting their things down in piles. Hugs, welcomes, the faces of folks who are curious and wondering, the faces of folks who are familiar with this dance.

10:20 warm up music stopped, everyone is rounded up for an opening circle to welcome newcomers, say names, begin

10:22 dance set list begins. We start very slow with gentle music, followed by a little faster, a little faster, a little faster. Music includes recognizable anchoring songs we all know: Sly and Family Stone from the 1970s, early disco from the 1960s, Another One Bites the Dust from the 1980s, George Michael Freedom from the 1990s, Beyonce, I’m So Fancy Iggy, dance from the 1940s and broadway show “Swing”, a gorgeous spiritual everyone breaks into singing along “Been in the Storm So Long”, all interspersed with music from India (Bollywood), Hector LaVoe (Latin), Madagascar, Japan, Total Eclipse of the Heart cover sung by Sleeping At Last. And that’s not all. There was more. 75 minutes of a joy ride through a lifetime.

11:45: everyone sits in a circle on the floor or brings over a chair. 3-4 people can share one short poem, quote, or song. We hear a song about the November Harvest from an elder. We hear a quote from a song we just danced to. We hear a song about water–one verse only. We hear the Tao Te Ching, which opens to #7 for today. To close everyone briefly shares one thing they appreciate (we learned this from Puget Sound Community School long ago).

11:52: We stand up, gather our things, don coats and scarves and bags…and head into our day, joyfully. Maybe there’s an extra bounce in our step, an extra relaxed calm in our bodies because of the energy spent. All is as it is. Very well indeed.