"Dance like nobody's watching;

Love like you've never been hurt.

Sing like nobody's listening;

Live like it's heaven on earth." 

Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

Don't you think this is wonderful advice? A philosophy worth aspiring to.

  • live life to the fullest,
  • enjoy simple pleasures whole-heartedly,
  • don't worry about what other people are thinking.

I'm working on Mr Twain's first suggestion right now with my husband. We started dancing lessons. Waltz and slow rhythm.   I'd love to be able to say the picture above is of Glenn and I, but at the moment we're still shuffling our way around the polished floor with more enthusiasm than talent. This pic is from Dancesport Australia.

It's not the first time I've done dancing lessons but it's the first time I've really enjoyed them. A far cry from the lessons way back in high school as a pimply teen when I was beanpole tall and hopelessly shy. Dancing with a boy whose eye level was at breast height was agony.

And in those days, go-go dancing was all the rage so ballroom dancing lessons were completely uncool. Being "with it"  meant energetic head tossing - preferably with really, really long straight hair - and gyrating wildly. I'm sure my cervical vertebrae have never fully recovered!

The sad thing is it was a very solitary sort of dancing - we might as well have been alone on the dance floor.

So coming back to learn to dance properly after all these years has been a revelation. It's very romantic to be held close, to synchronise movements with a partner.   Dancing is a lesson in compromise and cooperation and concentration. We're sharing a small space by learning to move together in harmony. We're making a connection with each other and with the music. It's demanding physically and mentally.

And it's fun!

This pic is us! Of course, at the moment we're a pair of left-footed clods but every now and then, there's the satisfaction of knowing we got it just right, a glimpse of something that's pure delight.

And the very biggest delight is Rock and Roll! Yep, we're closet rockers" ¦ well, not so "closet"  now I've announced it in this blog! My parents could rock and roll and to my untutored eyes, it looked like a magical thing, all that wonderful twirling and turning. I remember them trying to teach me but the coordination of it was beyond me. I always seemed to rock when I should have rolled. Well, now I know why - there are basic steps! It's like being initiated into a secret! I have "the knowledge" ! And far from destroying the mystic, it's made it even better.

Dancing is wonderful, uplifting and good for mind, body and soul. I love it! I might be slower to live up to some other parts of Mark Twain's advice but I'm a complete convert to the dancing part.

Published on Love is the Best Medicine, 19 October, 2009