Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dance Loud. Dance Proud. #sol15

Adolf Munzer, Jugend Magazine 1900
In a traffic crawl, I found myself driving behind one of the Gaiety Girls. It surprised me, but got me through the mundane minutes of stop-and-start driving through a bottleneck. All I could see was her dancing silhouette. Both arms flashed overhead--fingers spread wide--shoulders shimmied right and then shimmied back left--and then traffic moved. We rolled several feet, came to a stop, and the show began again.

Three stickers were on the back of her car: 13.1, 26.2, and one dominated by a purple "K" which I recognized as the brand of a local dance studio.

Alone in her car, the girl sat still for a few moments--perhaps the music wasn't right--perhaps she was waiting to be certain traffic was indeed going to sit for a spell. Satisfied, she got up steam and danced again. Like fizzy water bursting from a bottle, her hair lashed with wild, chaotic energy. Her arms came to life. Her joints--elbows, wrists, knuckles--rolled and caught the music.

Traffic rolled ahead again and the giddy young whelp settled down, drove forward, stopped, and danced. The pattern of drive, stop, dance became in itself a dance. It lasted less than a mile--maybe five minutes of inching along--but I told myself yesterday, "Aha, my slice for tomorrow morning."

Here's the kicker to the whole thing: to be certain about the purple "K" sticker, I looked up the dance company I thought it might be. Sure enough, I was correct--KMC Dance.

Care to guess what their motto is on their website?

Dance Loud. Dance Proud.

Which leads me to a news story I found last night on Twitter: Dancing Man Shamed by Bullies. I half stopped to read it because of my Gaiety Girl from earlier in the day, but I really dug in once I saw the cruel image some jackass posted on social media. An obese man in England was publicly shamed by someone on social media because he was fat and dancing. An ugly, ugly moment for humanity.

However, what came of this public shaming is that many people on Twitter sought the man. And now, if you read the article and check out the social media attached to it you will see the beauty of people. Two thousand women in California are flying this man in from London to throw a dance party for him. So many positive messages are being sent to this man and the culminating event will surely be a beautiful symbolic gesture and reminder to anyone who learns of the story.

Read about the #DancingMan. And then share the story with others. It is such a great example of the power of kindness, the power of social media, and the choices we make. People can be really, really cruel--and the cruelty doesn't end in middle school. But people can also be really really beautiful. And that doesn't ever have to end.

Dance Loud.

Dance Proud.

from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)

Gaiety Girls (Stage, 1890 on). Dashing singing and dancing comedians in variety pieces--from their first gaining attention at the Gaiety Theater.

get up steam (Peoples' 1840 on). Be energetic

giddy young whelp (London 1896). Youth about town.

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