This is the third post in a series expanding on 20 Things I Learned from My Toddler.
Do you remember when dancing wasn’t a big deal, when it was easy, when you didn’t need a dance floor and a crowd of people, and it didn’t matter what you looked like or whether the curtains were drawn? Do you remember when singing was not something you left to professionals? We were all there once.
Somewhere in the process of growing up, our image in the eyes of others became more important to us than fun and free-spiritedness. The definition of acceptable behavior became more restricted. And, priorities became dictated by cultural definitions outside of our own hearts.
It’s not realistic to expect that we’re all going to abandon our values and start running around like care-free toddlers, but it wouldn’t hurt to question those values and ask ourselves why we have stopped dancing.
I am a naturally reserved person and don’t easily dance in front of others. I remember the first time I hit the dance floor. I was sitting on a bench talking with a few friends and I noticed how silly everyone on the dance floor looked. I thought, I can look silly too. So, I got up and danced and couldn’t stop.
A friend of mine on the floor commented that I was a good dancer. I told him I had never done it before. But, I was born with music in my soul as we all were. I chose to focus on the music and thought everyone else looked silly, so I didn’t worry about how silly I looked.
I was about 20 years old at the time and was a regular on the dance floor for the next 10 years or so. As I got older and my life became busier, I found myself on the dance floor much less frequently. A few years ago, I stopped dancing altogether.
Now, at 34, my son Tristen has got me dancing again. I don’t care who is looking, if I can get a giggle from my little boy, it is well worth it. I haven’t found my way back to a public dance floor yet, but I feel the music again.
There are few things that make me feel more alive than when music makes my body move. Even if that music is just my wife or me singing to Tristen.
Dancing makes me feel as if my body and soul are connected. I feel God. It’s meditation, exercise, recreation, and when joined with another person, it is a bond of laughter and passion beyond words.