It is sheer chaos. Kids of all ages are running around, finished their practice, while the “moms” take a turn at theirs. One mama dances with a baby on a front pack while Peanut is riding piggyback on me, threatening to fly off with every spin I do. Kids dart between our legs as we try to figure out formations.
It is chaos.
And I love every minute.
I have danced since I was 4 or 5 years old. Nothing fancy, certainly nothing professional, but for most of my youth I was involved in at least a couple Indian dances a year.
It was a way for me to stay connected to the roots of my parents, it was a way to hang out with friends that I wouldn’t otherwise see at my school. But mostly it was a way to fly.
My favorite memories are of stepping onto the gleaming stage, under those bright lights… letting the music surround me and my feet guide the way. I loved how my skirts swirled as I twirled. I loved the feeling of flying as I moved in circles and complex patterns. I loved how strong and capable I always felt.
Dance was my way to forget all that was practical and productive and just get lost in the moment.
When Bug turned 4, I was sure to put her in her first dance and not surprisingly, she was mesmerized as well. She was a natural. So this year was a no-brainer. Only this time, they offered to tack on practices at the end for the moms to do a dance of their own. And most of us leapt at the chance.
Given the choice these days, of being able to put your child in a dance and get them to practices or decide to do one yourself, it’s going to be the kid. But so many of us have yearned to get back to it.
So here we are. Just as I remembered it. Everyone with an opinion. Loud and frenetic.
Until the music is turned on.
Then we all settle and come together in shared love of this ritual. Done for generations before us, and if we pass it on right, for generations ahead. How special that not only will Bug and I be dancing that day, but my mum also. Three generations sharing that same sacred space of a stage.
I didn’t realize how much I missed it. But how could I not? It’s been a part of me since before I can remember. Dormant, patient, waiting.
For the day that I might again step out on that shiny stage … and fly.