Tuesday, May 20, 2008

what holds the heart

Several months ago I took my daughters to a creative dance concert. What is creative dance? I guess one could say it's a form of modern dance. It is what dance should be, with no overwhelming sequins or inappropriately shaking body parts. The performers were mostly children. My girls were enrolled in dance classes through the same program and were anxious and excited to watch the performance.

I was excited, too. It felt a little funny. I was back in a theater I had performed in several times, this theater that doubles as a dance studio when the stadium style chairs are pushed back into the wall, like at a high school gymnasium. Just nicer chairs. I have spent countless hours in that room dancing and rehearsing. And it was weird to be back there with my children.

All of the pieces were charming and some were quite good. Towards the end there were some pieces by high school students, and then one from a group from the university. And suddenly, out of no where, I felt a surge of emotion that swept around my heart, and I felt it would burst if not for the tears that started streaming down my face, releasing the pressure. It was a cathartic release. Here I was in sacred space, watching something I love and, I think, mourning it's loss, once more. I felt a little silly crying at a children's dance performance, but there I was, looking for a kleenex in the dark theater. The performance ended. I wiped my eyes and gathered up the hands of my daughters in my own hands and navigated our way out.

I have loved dance for as long as I can remember. But just because you love something doesn't mean you get to keep it forever. I wrote about it some time ago, and recently reworked my essay for Just an Orange. You can read it here.


  1. I think those releases coming up every once in a while are the reminders (and the keepers) of our selves. After so many years and so much "life" I think it's OK to feel like I've lost some things that I thought defined me, or moved me. They are what made me, me. And remembering them makes me sad, too. And it's not as easy as just jumping back in the wagon and once again, doing whatever moved me. The timing, the freedom, the irresponsible bits of my selfish self have to be there so I can get the same satisfaction. And those just have to be gone. But, glimpses of what I had in the past are often enough to remind myself that what I have now is not worse, or better, just different, and in maybe a decade I will be somewhere getting the same feeling I have now...

  2. True, Zeynep. Nicely put.

  3. I felt the same way as my husband and I watched the auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance." I would LOVE the opportunity to dance to something choreographed by Mia Michaels. Wow. And then I think of my bulging belly and inability to walk at present state and my ever growing lack of flexibility and it makes me grieve what I once had. I cherish the memories of working with Pat in AMTF and my Modern Dance Technique classes at BYU. I miss the abandonment of a good performance. I love to see a person who still has it and dream vicariously. I guess that's why it's good to share talents. So those of us who can't do it anymore can appreciate those who still can.