Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THE JOY OF DANCE by Jenna Vick Silliman

I wouldn’t trade my dancing with anyone—or sell it. The theme for this week’s writings on Kingdom Bloggers is: “What is something money can’t buy?” Since I have you as my captive audience, I am going to write about my dancing. When I lost 75 pounds back in 2003, I became restless to become more active and that is when I found out I am a dancer. Lately I’ve been dancing about ten to twelve times a week. Here’s a slice of my dancing life.
Sunday mornings at our home church gathering we dance for worshiping God. I arrive early to intercede in prayer and sometimes I use my flags before it gets crowded. We have awesome music playing and we freely move around or sit and soak—whatever suits us at the moment. What a wonderful way to start a week!
I fill my car with five or six teenagers on Sunday nights and drive about a half an hour West to Port Angeles to the Sons of Norway Lodge. At 6:30 is a half hour lesson in Scandinavian Folk Dance and then from 7 to 9 is dancing. Most of the dances we’ve learned are what are called “Mixers” which is couples in circles and you change partners all the way through the song so by the end of the evening you’ve danced with everyone there.
I love Scandinavian Folk Dance because there is lots of spinning. When I twirl I like to raise my hands to heaven and worship God. (In fact, whenever I dance it is an act of worship and giving God thanks and praise.) Spinning releases endorphins, similar to a “runner’s high”. Try it some time! Last Saturday I attended “Folk Life” an annual Folk Dance Festival in Seattle at the Seattle Center by the Space Needle. I danced for about ten hours and with all the spinning I felt high on the ferry on the way home. (We live across the Puget Sound from Seattle, so we take a ferry for a half hour boat ride—which I love!) There were six or seven of us dancers talking and laughing and sharing about our day of dancing and I kept slurring my words I was so high!
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I take Zumba at our Recreation Center here in Sequim, Washington. Zumba is dancing routines that incorporate vigorous exercise moves, all set to music of a wide variety. It started out as Latin Dance, but now it is more International. It is fun! I’ve made lots of friends in my Zumba class over the last three years. A bunch of us, some married—some single, go dancing at the casino on Friday or Saturday nights when there is Classic Rock. We just get in a circle and dance and have a blast. We don’t care if we don’t have partners to dance with—we are free to dance to our heart’s content. Of course, I get in as much spinning as I can, when it is not too crowded.
On Monday nights I go to Poulsbo’s Sons of Norway for Scandinavian Folk Dance. They are advanced dancers there and I have learned a lot from them. Most of the teachers are older—in their 60’s and 70’s or some even in their 80’s. It is amazing what good shape they are in. They talk about skiing for a week in Colorado, travels to dance all over the world, and dancing for three to four hours in an evening with no problem.
Tuesday mornings I take tap dance at the Elk’s Club. I feel like Shirley Temple with her shining curls and dimples. I dreamed about being her when I watched her on television as a kid. I can’t have her ringlets or dimples—but I can tap dance like her! Hahaha! Tuesday afternoons I have been teaching children at the Sons of Norway. I volunteered for the job at Christmas time when I saw the need. I love teaching dance! We had a performance a week ago Saturday and it went beautifully. A dozen children and four dances–all in costume. What fun!
Wednesday morning I have Zumba and then my friend Charli and I dress in colorful clothes and go into the nursing homes and visit the elderly. We do sing-a-longs and also dance around, and, of course, spin. I have a collection of colorful, twirly skirts to wear for dancing. The old folks in the nursing homes always enjoy watching us dance around and we talk and laugh with them and give them hugs whenever we can.
Thursday night is home group at our house church, Deep River. We have a potluck dinner, a “dance party”, lots of awesome music, and pray for whatever needs people have, every week.
Friday is Zumba again and, like I said before, on Friday night or Saturday night we will dance at the casino in our town, if there is a good band playing classic rock. It is about once or twice a month we go dancing there.
May has had a lot of dancing on Saturday nights. The first Saturday was Contra Dancing, which is like square dancing in lines. The second Saturday was a Swing Dance and though I don’t know how to dance that way very well, I faked it okay. Hahaha! (I just found out there are Swing Dance classes at the Senior Center, so I will try that this summer.) The next Saturday was an elegant evening of waltz for a fundraiser for the Port Angeles High School Orchestra. Saturday, the 19th of May, in the afternoon, my children’s dance class performed for about 75 people at the Sons of Norway. Then last Saturday was Folk Life in Seattle with ten hours of Folk dancing. Whew! What a dancey month!
          The joy of dance in my life is a treasure beyond price.


Andrea York said...

You're a dancing queen!

Linda Maynard said...

You are definitely one who "hears the music!"