Definitions can depend on social and cultural norms and aesthetic, artistic and moral sensibilities. Definitions range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to virtuoso techniques (such as ballet). Martial arts are often compared to dances, and sports such as gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are generally thought to incorporate dance.
So with that out of the way, when did you last danced?
Dancing, at least to my generation, was a way for boys and girls to know each other. We could shake, rattle and roll to those wild rock numbers or for the first time be thrown against each other for the slow dances.
Dancing didn’t start with my generation. We were a carry over from big ballroom dancing and 20’s jazz clubs. From the first time our species hit a rock with a stick or pounded on a stretched animal pen, we started dancing.
We had war dances and formal dances and square dances and barn dances and street dances and highland dances and even river dances. We can’t help ourselves. When the beat is played, we tap our feet and the rhythm goes up through our legs and we start gyrating.
I learned how to formal dance in summer camp. I know that is weird, but learned to cha-cha and really started to listen to the music. I had done some dancing with girls at the “coming out” parties, but it was foursquare box step and very awkward in our finery.
I think the “twist” brought out some wildness to dancing and provided some South American rhythms to my generation. Looking back through history those beats had been shaking for generations before me, but one must remember, dancing was looked upon as a “questionable activity”.
Dancing, at least for me, required a partner. A dancing partner is another person who understood the music and could move to the groove. When you find a good dancing partner the result is magic.
How do you feel that rhythm?
Playing in bands I learned that everyone didn’t feel that rhythm. Our band had the same equipment and played the same songs, but some folks felt the music and some folks just played the notes. The way to tell was those silly little side slide steps made on the stage. If we all moved to the beat then we all got it. The music was better because we all were dancing.
I’ve known a few and danced the dance and even cleared the dancefloor but I can’t remember dancing with my wife.