Saturday, August 13, 2011


Sometimes when I am alone I do the entire "Single Ladies" dance routine in my living room.
I dream of looking up dance websites and purchasing an extra large leotard and some dance shoes that would knock about and make marks on my wooden floors. I think about hot lights and smeared red lipstick and sweat pushing all over my body. I love to dance.

When I worked for the mayor of this fair city and my office was not in city hall, but out in the hood, I would dance with my students. The children of the near East side. Sketchy Atcheson street and over by Mt. Vernon Avenue in what they call the "cradle of Jazz" in Columbus, Ohio. We would stand outside of Sawyer Community Center and listen to Power 107.5 and throw some shit down. It was always inter-generational there. Really young kids that would just wander over from the apartment buildings and old men from the barber shop would move in time together.
Everyone would listen to music and dance in the summertime when we held programs for the kids.
We would all dance.
And lots of kids told me that I was a pretty good dancer for a white girl.
I liked that.
It would be so very hot but we would eat those extra long ice pops from the corner store and I would bring a fan outside like a crazy woman and the world was slower somehow.
Sometimes on a Friday when we knew it was about to get dangerous- I would pack my car up and head home to my nice safe area of town and tell all the kids to be careful as I drove slowly over the six sets of speed bumps to the end of the parking lot. I would drive away and my mind would casually blow open as I thought about the children telling me they always heard a lot more gunshots over the weekend.

But we would dance and they would instruct me on all the newest music and my friends would laugh their asses off as I showcased new dance moves to them later in the clubs and bars of the hip Short North area downtown. It's all in the hips I would say to them with a smile. It still is. I have a bad hip now. Like an elder. The last baby that grew inside of my beat me from the inside out I think. I am taking yoga and trying to stretch it out because...

I just wanna dance

Have you been shaking your hips enough lately?
Think about it.


ingrid said...

i love this post. very much. i've stopped dancing for some time now... it seems hard to pull that level of inhibition and joy from within myself... but you make me want to find it. x

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

I love your stories.

I shook my hips so much last weekend (kids at g&g's, wedding reception w/college friends, ruled the dancefloor my friend. ruled.) that they were actually a wee bit sore on Monday. Oh, we elders and our achey hips.


SUEB0B said...

I have recently taken up salsa dancing, which is kind of hilarious because I am clumsy and don't have the best knees. My teacher is a skinny little white boy and he's pretty smooth, but all about getting it exactly right. I cheated on him and went to this class with these crazy Latino DJs and the first thing they were all about is moving your hips. I had such a good time. Then I turned around and my skinny boy was there! I got caught cheating on my salsa teacher!


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