05 December 2007

Come dancing

Define worth dancing to...

The theme to "Speed Racer" or "Linus and Lucy";
The choral section of the 9th Symphony; and
prett' near anything up-tempo with a good, strong beat.

What about dancing for...?

"Worth dancing for" is so much easier: Weddings, babies, joy, and love.

(From a recent e-mail with a friend, his questions, my answers)

None of those pieces of music got played but I still went dancing Sunday night. I know - many of you just re-read that first sentence and thought "Odd, I didn't hear anything on the news about widespread destruction and panic." Maybe it made the later editions.

The way that I ended up dancing was easy - Greykell (yes, the Greykell!) and I went to see The Foreigner that afternoon and we were hanging out at her place afterwards. She asked what I was doing later and I said that if I was smart, I'd go home and highlight the rest of my lines for Arcadia.

Did I want to go Oella Dancing instead? I didn't know for sure what "Oella Dancing" was but Grey's not the loud, hot, crowded club type any more than I am, so I knew that it wouldn't be that. And Grey and I know several people who ballroom dance, so there was a good chance that Oella Dancing would involve some or all of them.

I dithered for a little bit while Aly whispered "Go dancing" in a subliminal kind of way. And so I agreed to go.

I haven't been dancing of really any kind in years. I haven't even done any shows with choreography in them in forever. And I'm not a very good dancer between the imperfect knees and the inability to translate patterned movement from my brain to my feet. But my partners (Larry, and Dave, and Dark Eric) were kind and we whirled around the floor in one-steps (walking to a melody, more or less) and waltzes and swing dance-y things. It was lovely.

For years and years the only dances I could execute at all well (besides my specialty, desk dancing) were:

the Highland Fling (taught me to at YMCA camp before my knees went south);
the grapevine/Hora;
and a waltz.

For Pippin long years ago Lorraine beat into me taught me to do a scissor step, but I don't think that I've retained it. In fact, I know I haven't retained it. But after repeated, random exposure, I'm starting to kind of pick up the elements of some swing dances.

And in college I was in what I thought of as "Grey's dance troupe." No, really, I was. Really. Grey is about the only person I know who can consistently talk me into dancing. Actually, Grey used a couple extra dice when she made her charisma roll, so she can talk prett' near anyone into prett' near anything. So I was in Markland's dance troupe, Thrir Venstri Foetr* for several years and actually did exhibition dancing. You know, for the public. Where they could see me.

Fortunately, medieval dancing (back when I learned it, when it was contemporary dancing, I guess) comes in more or less two categories -- the pavanne (or pavane - the double n spelling seems to be specific to Markland, but it's pronounced puh-VAH-n) which is the "ooh, look at my pretty dress" stately dance and the bransle (pronounced "brawl") which is the "let's shout, get sweaty, and drink more beer" vigorous dance. (There are also the steps to "Scotland the Brave," and while it is my personal favorite, this girl was never a serious candidate to learn that dance - too much jump and pivot, you know?)

So dancing reasonably competently on Sunday was just a delight. Like most of the things that Greykell suggests doing. I must go again sometime. Soon.

And, by the way, it's called "Oella Dancing" because it happens in Oella, Maryland which is reached by driving on the sorts of swoopy roads that are like dancing in themselves.

*Forgotten our Old Norse, have we? Three Left Feet.

And from (of course) Hello, Dolly! the song that sums up the evening.

Put your hand on her waist and stand
With her right in your left hand
And one two three, one two three, one two three...

Look I'm dancing!
Well, I was.

Of course you were, Mr. Hackl!

Take the someone whose arms you're in
Hold onto her tight and spin
And one two three, one two three, one two three...

Wow, I'm dancing!

Turn around and turn around, try floating through the air
Can't you be a little more aesthetic?

Don't you think my dancing has a polish and a flair?

The word I think I'd use is athletic!

Well my heart is about to burst
My head is about to pop
And now that I'm dancing who cares if I ever stop!
...Look at me, everybody! I, Cornelius Hackl...Sport
...Am dancing!

You're next, Mr. Tucker!
Glide and step and then step and glide...

And everyone stand aside!

He's dancing!

You could learn to polka if you worked a week or so
Or the tango filled with passion seething

I might join the chorus of the castle garden show

Whatever you do for gosh shakes keep breathing

Barnaby, Dolly and Cornelius:
For my heart is about to burst
My head is about to pop
And now that I'm dancing who cares if I ever stop!

Mrs. Molloy:
When there's someone you hardly know
But wish you were closer to
Remember that he can be near to you
While you're dancing

Though you've only just said "hello"
He's suddenly someone who
Can make all your daydreams appear to you
While you're dancing

Make the music weave a spell
Whirl away your worry
Things look almost twice as well
When you're slightly blurry

As around and around you go
Your spirits will hit the top

Dolly, Cornelius, & Mrs. Molloy:
And now that we're dancing
Who cares if we ever stop

Mrs. Molloy, Barnaby, Dolly and Cornelius:
And now that we're dancing
Who cares if we ever stop


Maureen said...

Think Greykell could talk my beloved husband into taking up dancing? If so, please make the introductions. :D

Hjalti said...

Where is there room in Oella to dance without falling off a cliff? At the old school/rec center? Except for the lead paint and the screaming drunk woman (our neighbor across the street), I miss living there.