I’m sitting here watching yet another wedding video where the members of the bridal party are re-enacting the final dance scene from “Dirty Dancing.” Yes, done to death. Yes, hokey. And yet, here I sit, breathless, covered with goosebumps, giddy tears streaming. Every time, even the poorly executed ones.
What is it about “the dance?” And not just this one, but every one of the old movies, along with my other two favorites- Jennifer Beals in “Flashdance,” and Kevin Bacon defying the rules and cuttin’ it loose in “Footloose.” Is it the fantasy? The music? The moves?
I believe that it is the release. Dancing is physical, fluid magic. It is akin to an out-of-body experience. And whether we are the dancer, or simply watching other dancers, we are lifted away, swimming in a wash of music and graceful (or sometimes, not so graceful) movement. Our bodies crave the loose-limbed freedom, and the music wraps around us in a sensuous embrace. Dancing, like yoga, stretches our muscles and our minds.
That being said, I have to admit that I am a lousy dancer. While I may occasionally whip out a smooth move or two, generally my attempts resemble Elaine Benes as she horrifies her employees with her chaotic, jerky moves at the annual office party. Not that I allow that to slow me down, although I usually reserve my wild flinging about for my own solitary entertainment in my living room. Dancing doesn’t have to look good to feel good. And if it feels good, do it!