Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dance as if everyone were watching!

Watch very carefully for a child who briefly appears in the below video.

Did you see the child? 

It was the grey-haired kid who threw down two sticks.  He can teach you something.  He is dancing as if everyone were watching, but as a child--out of pure joy!

The very young, no matter their age, dance spontaneously.
Lots of Innate Stuff, but not innocence.

I danced as a kid. Also, I owned a little plastic guitar, and Gail, the girl next door, put her foot through it, angry at my song and dance.   I was way too happy for her, I guess. 

Later in school, I was shy and was afraid to talk in a group all through my school years. In sixth grade, I nearly destroyed the book I had in my hands as I gave a book report in front of the class. I couldn't sing in the choir because I didn't have the talent. The school music teacher told my mother not to waste money on private lessons. (My wise mother told me about the music teacher's bad prognosis only after I became successful studio and performance musician.) How did I ever make it to being a human being without just giving up altogether?  Before puberty:
  • I couldn't speak freely.
  • I couldn't dance freely.
  • I couldn't sing freely.
  • I couldn't play an instrument.
A return to innocence
How did I make it back to dance, arrive at mastering several musical instruments, rediscover how to sing, against all odds play percussion in front of thousands, and overcome my fears to be able to speak impromptu before hundreds? How?

With the help and love of others. That's how. With the help of others, I found my humanity: The things at my center that only the human animal does even as a little child.  When we return to this center, that is heaven, that is our return to innocence.  Ask for help if you haven't found your center.  Pick up an instrument, or better yet, learn tango, the dance of embrace, and I believe the other things will start coming back too.  They belong to each other at your center.  I very much believe that you can become "as a little child."  Go ahead and try to return to your innocence in any other way.

The World through the Lens of Tango
Out of pure joy--dancing alone or as everyone watches--
the feeling is the same:  A return to innocence.
Surely you have been told that in the Bible it says that children are innocent.  If there are moments when children are children, it is when they are expressing themselves from their heart.  During these moments of singing, dancing or having freedom to speak their hearts, we are as close as they can get to innocence, to heaven.  It doesn't matter if we are dancing "as if no one were watching" when we fully enter our childlike state (no matter how old the body is). 

Others are Watching/Not Watching:  The Same
Be a child.  Then you can sing your way into heaven, unaware that others might be laughing at you.  Be a child, and you can dance like an angel, as others might say you are a "dancing fool."  Be a child! Pick up the instrument you were given as a child, but later put down as others said you did not have talent.  Use words to let your heart speak rather than to cover your heart.  Be a child!

Were you "innocent" as a child?

I wasn't. As a teacher and adult, I taught kindergarten through high school.  I didn't see too many innocent children.  But yes, I saw wonderful human beings with abilities that easily flowed out of them with or without education.

As a child I didn't have to go to school to learn how to speak.  I did that before going to school.  I did not have to learn to play an instrument; I did that when my parents gave me a plastic guitar.  No one gave me singing or dance lessons to be able to dance.  I did that on the back porch.

One day I will throw down my canes and dance like the little boy with grey hair I introduced to you at the start of this post.  If I throw down my canes and dance, maybe I will be worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven--only because I have learned to be "like little children."*

* Matthew 18:3  A bit of tango theology:  :-)
And [Jesus] said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." See my post on the spiritual implications of misunderstanding Matthew 18:13, which includes our own loss of hope to be childlike and "innocent," and sadly increases the risks of child abuse. Here is the link: The Tango Theologian on "Pure Joy--not innocence--as the Key." If you do go visit The Tango Theologian, please go to the very bottom of the page (once you see some of the above material repeated there). At page bottom, you'll find more on the absence of prophetic or sage wisdom on children and their purported innocence. What do philosophers say? Buddhists? Moslems? The best link is to an interview with author and philosopher Joanne Faulkner.

Note for my many readers whose first language is not English: The title is in the rarely-used English subjunctive. "If you WERE a queen, I would be your subject," for example. Spelling programs and many English speakers will say, "If you was a queen." That's okay too...I guess, but then we lose a feel for the lack of reality of the sentence. It is impossible for everyone to watch these days if you dance. At least someone will be looking at their smart-phone.

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Photo credits:
Child dancing
Dance scene from film

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