Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Latin dance at lunchtime

I was knee-deep in documents and nearly bout asleep. After briefly considering skulking off to a vacant office, setting an alarm on my cell phone and crawling under the desk for a nap, I asked God to help me. I felt like I'd been dosed with cold medicine, just an overwhelming fatigue and I didn't think sleeping on the job would go over well. I prayed silently for a minute or two, asking for the Zoe energy of God to fill me. Two thoughts flashed on the screen in my mind. One a word and one an image. The phrase "put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" and the image of the dance floor at the gym. I'd never danced on that dance floor, but I'd walked by it on the way to the circuit training room. There was a beautiful song playing on my mp3 player and I remembered my interpretive dance class and how much fun it would be to move to this song. Come. Dance. Now.

So I stood up from my desk, grabbed my purse and my water bottle and headed for the door.

As I walked to the gym, still listening to the mp3 player already strapped to my arm, I remembered that every time I had seen the dance floor it was empty. I visualized myself having the floor to myself, twirling and dancing.

At the gym, as I walked down the hall, I heard loud Latin funk music and when I reached the entrance of the dance floor, I saw that a Latin cardio funk dance class had just started. I hung back in the entrance for just a few seconds, then joined in at the back of the room. I had no trouble keeping up with the moves! The instructor was lithe and energetic, and she really felt the soul and groove of the music and so did I. The music was smokin' and eager to join in, I quickly dropped my purse and water bottle on the floor, took off my jacket and shook my booty along with everyone else in the room. The pants and cami I'd worn to work this morning were fine for dancing. Almost as though this had been planned. There was a woman instructor and a man instructor and they were both Latino and athletic without being perfect looking. Just two humans who love to dance and who love to make us love it too. This wasn't just an exercise class. They were sharing their culture and their joy. We had a blast. People of every race, age and fitness level in the class all movin' and groovin'. The joy was palpable. None of us were inhibited. We swayed our arms and swayed our hips and snapped our fingers. Y'all, we were smokin'! When each song ended, the class broke into cheers and spontaneous applause.

I. felt. marvelous. And Tom Allen—you knew there would be—there were mirrors in the room. And I enjoyed them. I was shy for about three and a half seconds ;) and then as my body responded to the music I lost myself in the joy of movement. The next time my eye caught my reflection, I thought, "who is that adorable earth mama movin' her hips like some native woman on Survivor?" It's me!
(laughing for joy)

There was about five minutes after class when the dance floor was empty, and I thought "ask forgiveness not permission" and I claimed that space and did some free dance to that lovely Pleasure of the King song I'd been lovin' on my mp3 player back at my desk. Dance can give wings to the feelings in your heart. It felt so good to let my body speak without words.

When it was over, I went to the edge of the floor for more stretching, then I put on my jacket, picked up my purse and water bottle and walked back to the office. My lungs were tingling and I felt pulsing with energy and life and joy.

There and back in thirty minutes.
You'd think somebody loves me or somethin'.
(grin) -SW


Tom Allen said...


You go, SW! Nice to see you gettin' your groove on!

bethstedman said...

I love this! God and I used to dance regularly together and it had been a long time since I'd done that until on Tuesday after going out with a friend I came home so refreshed I just wanted to dance so I did and it was WONDERFUL! thanks for sharing your dancing story!!