Saturday, October 08, 2005


I went back to Friday Night Waltz tonight for the first time since about a half year ago. I intended to get back into following mode, to relate the dancing experience to harmonious relationships in the rest of life. If life were like dancing, it would be bliss.

Joining a performing group has at times corrupted my previously pure following state. Backleading and self-dancing creeps in during choreographies. The only way to experience the true freedom of following is to go out social dancing and not know what to expect. "Welcome chance intrusions."

There were several very good dances. My favorite of the night was a sway-ey waltz. When you trust the lead, the dancing becomes much more free and flowing. The level of trust varies by person, and also can vary through a single dance. As a follow, when you are able to listen with your whole mind and body, you can follow anything and be perfectly balanced with your partner.

I managed to "almost" enjoy dancing with the guy that everybody hated dancing with. "Trust" was not so much the important factor in this setting as "self-preservation." My ability to protect my fingers and wrists from being broken off, and keep myself from falling face to the floor, from dangerous leads, allowed me to follow the lead, and make a somewhat enjoyable dance. And then one would be able to see the unique good things this dancer has to offer. However, a good lead would be aware of and care about how his partner feels, and lead accordingly.

To be able to follow anything and anyone, and make it an enjoyable dance, is a fun challenge and experience. Although it's much more enjoyable to dance with those you really trust....

Afterwards, I went along with some Stanford dancey people to the CheeseCake Factory. They are going to be half my age soon. I did manage to recruit some people to audition.

It's probably not a coincidence that it is in the dancing community where I see the best matched couples who are partners in life. So far my dance life and social life are separate. Maybe I like it this way. Dancing is a metaphor for life, but if dancing were my life, I'd be missing out on a lot. Make life a dance.