Sunday, December 4, 2011

And We Can Act Like We Come From Out of This World

I've been going to a 60's Northern soul dance party once a month in Seattle for almost four years now. My first night, I was nervous and didn't know quite what to do with my arms. I felt the music run through my body, shooting through my limbs like lightning, and I fell into the rhythm, my shoulders moving in time with my feet and my hands occasionally moving the hair out of my face. Every time I return, the dance feels natural and joyous. I get lost in the moment of sweet sweat and electric endorphins. 

A photo of me in reverie next to one of my best sister friends appeared in an alternative weekly recently. I think it captures exactly what I feel on the dance floor. Wrapped up in the moment like a cocoon, a smile creeping up the sides of my mouth, trying to catch the lights on my skin and take them with me. 

I recently discovered a new love: square dancing! Every two weeks in the neighborhood I live in, a bar hosts a square dancing night. A live band plays straw bale rhythms and a caller lilts out the directions. People are incredibly forgiving when you mess up, and it is the only time I've seen adult strangers grab each other's hands and laugh and spin, unabashedly happy. As I was swung by my partners, I felt like I was flying.

This is my love letter to dancing: the physical expression of joy, the slick sweat, the crush of bodies, the heartbeat bass, the way I feel when I spin fast and can feel the world spinning with me. Thank you. 


  1. This all sounds like such fun ~ you make me want to get out my dancing shoes. :)

  2. That looks so fun. I used to go to a Northern Soul night when my friend was DJing it but then it disappeared.

  3. Dancing is a balm to the soul. I love contra dancing. We have a winter series of dances. I can't wait for them to start again.

  4. i have a rule for my life, written in tiny letters on the wall of my room. it says this, "no matter how you are feeling, how tired you are, what kind of day, week or month you have had, if you have the opportunity to go square dancing...GO.".

    i love the picture of you, all vibrant and glowing and THERE. xoxo

  5. My daughter has brought me back to dancing and all the associated joy. The photo of you captures that so well! (And I really want to square dance. I have just the boots for it.)

  6. This is such a great description of what dancing is all about! Thank you, Nichole :) And I *love* Northern Soul!