Sometimes I wonder if I’ve left a lot of life’s goodies behind. “Sure I did this in my 20’s but not anymore.” To which I say “Why not?” Take dancing for instance.
Last night woke me up. I went to hear Angelique Kidjo sing. She’s a dynamic songstress from Benin in Africa. She strode out onstage with a huge smile, wearing traditional garb – a red, yellow and white “sari” and a headdress that matched. I know that “sari” isn’t the right word but it’s all I know.
Angelique belted out all these fast African songs, each with a great beat. And she danced! Throwing her head back and zooming all over the stage, arms and legs moving every whichway. And she was so happy! I marvelled at the expressions of a full human being.
And then … towards the end of the concert, Angelique invited us all up on the stage to dance with her and her band! 1100 of us. About 100 human beings took her up on it. And there I was, boogieing my butt off in close quarters with dancers of all ages (including one 7-year-old girl, a whirl of limbs). The music blasted, the audience wowed. I looked out from the stage and took in all of Koerner Hall … such beauty in the walls, on the ceiling, in the seats. And I too was happy. I remembered other dancing times and smiled beneath the sweat:
1. Jody and I at an evening street dance in Vieux Fort, a tiny town in St. Lucia. We all were so packed in at that intersection that the only place to move was up and down. So I bounced!
2. A staff Christmas party at a fancy restaurant in downtown London. Jody later told me that people stared as I vibrated all body parts at a frantic pace in some skewed version of dancing.
3. Last summer in London’s Victoria Park, I threw everything around with hundreds of others to the music of Five Alarm Funk at Sunfest, our world music festival. I looked around at a lot of 20-somethings, and precious few 60-somethings. Too bad for those who missed out.
The truth is … I don’t want to miss out! I want to dance. If I’m to be with a lovely woman again, may she love to move and groove. And if no such blithe spirit comes my way, I’ll dance alone through my remaining years on the planet.