Dancing for Connection, Dancing for Art

Last night was a lousy night of dancing. No it wasn’t. It was emotionally rich.

Last night the predominant feeling that I had was sadness, somehow related to feeling disconnected. The dance that was offered was not the dance that I wanted to dance. I wanted to dance an angry dance or a sad dance, a soulful dance. I didn’t want to dance a sexy dance or a funny dance or a “social” dance.

There’s the crux and the challenge. Social dancing is inherently that – social. Yet I find that in many ways I’m not a social dancer. Social dancing is largely about connection and I don’t mean dancing movement connection but emotional and friendly connection. Much of my aim in dance is to express. It’s a personal experience that can be amplified when shared with another. In fact it can be incredibly rich and beautiful when shared with another and there is where I love the connection but in this context the connection is about where your individual dances meet. Where you choose to have a shared experience, to self-express and see where you and your partner’s expressions blend and what they create together.

Last night this is what I was hungry for in dancing. This is what I was hungry for as a person.

It’s interesting to explore this fine line between using the tools of dance to connect and enjoy together and to share an expression together. The first is like going for coffee with someone with the purpose only to enjoy their company. The second is like meeting with someone to create a painting. I suppose in either case you could paint together but in the first the painting would be an excuse to connect with the person. In the second the painting is the goal and the expression is made greater through your connection with the person.

I think I sometimes come to dance with too many tools, too many moves, too much eagerness to create the social connection with my partner, because it’s what I feel is expected. Perhaps I have not given myself enough room to simply come to the dance with what I have to express. What I want to say is: “Here I am. This is the dance I have to offer.” What I want in return is your dance.

What I want to discover is our dance.