The first hour of this New Year found me dancing like it was 1977. Forget the intricate steps of Balboa, the tight eight beat framing of Lindy Hop, the complex patterns of Collegiate Shag – this was a forty year regression to being a teenager in Birmingham. I shimmied to soul classics, pogoed to punk, got down and dirty to the reggae beat, and skanked to the Ska rhythms.
It nearly killed me!
As the night’s designated driver I can’t even blame alcohol, but as I arched backwards, gyrating my hips and waving my arms above my head, my spine refused to bend like it was 1977 and suddenly I was wobbling, dangerously off balance and clutching for my husband to stop myself crashing, humiliatingly, to the floor and being trampled to death by my fellow dancers.
In addition, after a particularly energetic response to Mountain High River Deep I developed a very bad stitch.
The Middle Age Tight Rope
So here I am adrift in the middle years of my sixth decade – glad to be alive and able to dance, with the spirit still flaming brightly but the flesh showing signs of wear and tear. How much can be expected of this body of mine and how much must be accepted? Those of us over fifty – walk the line.
In this blog I want to explore the challenge of being a middle aged dancer and the ongoing project of growing older with grace!
A Party Invite
The Sufi poet Hafiz (1320-1389) wrote in his poem The Invitation.
No one can refuse a Divine Invitation
That narrows down all our choices
To just two:
We can come to God
Dressed for Dancing
Be carried on a stretcher
To God’s Ward.
I’m going with the ‘dressed for dancing’ option and in the forthcoming weeks I’ll be blogging on dancing, dressing up and how I’m managing to keep a balance between living life to the maximum and, at the same time, preparing myself for the final number that awaits us all at the end of the night.