Sunday, September 19, 2010

Contra dance

My first time contra dancing. First of all, let me admit that I've never danced and have been raised to believe that dancing is wrong and causes others to sin. Period. I, however, NOT because I came to the US, but because I have seen several good instances of dancing in the Bible BEFORE I came to the US, don't think that all forms of dance are wrong. I, in fact, have secretly admired some of my friends who could dance since grade school, have not seen anything wrong with dancing as long as they moves are not suggestive and have always wondered why dance was completely considered taboo, although I was taught by my parents that we do not dance. Anyhoo, fast forward to about a week ago, my friend is a dance person and goes to a lot of different dances, decent ones, and she invited me and my other friend to a contra dance. We were supposed to go for one dance Friday night and another one on Saturday night. If you've ever taken an exercise class of some sort in college, or aerobics for beginners (I have), then you'll understand what I mean when I say it's basically an exercise workout, just a little more fancy. I am SO glad I went Friday night (couldn't go Saturday night because I had other stuff for then and Sunday morning). I absolutely LOVED it the night that I was able to go!!

So, moving on to what we actually did Friday night...

We got there late for the 1/2 an hour class during which, the caller (who walks us through the steps we'd be doing to the upcoming song and then calls out each step as we do the actual dance too) taught the basic steps/moves of contra dance for first timers. But when we got there, Becca my friend who took us to the dance, introduced me and Dani to two of her guy friends and asked them to be our first dance partners because they knew what they were doing and they'd be able to help us along and teach us as the dance was on. Two important details to get a picture of the dance in your head. The music is a lot like country music and there are lots of men and women dancing in rows mostly, sometimes in concentric circles, at the same time to the same steps that the caller calls out (women do certain steps and the men do the complimentary steps).

So basically, everyone has a partner and a neighbor and the lady is always on the right and the gentleman is always on the left. And we first start in pairs, and sometimes face another couple. So if we were standing in the shape of a square, there'd be a gentleman on either side of me, one would be my partner, the other my neighbor. Same for the men, there'd be a lady on either side of him, one his partner and the other his neighbor. You always start a dance with your patner. My first dance partner Jeb was amazing. Most of the steps were pretty simple. With the steps that were hard for me to follow, Jeb would just move me around himself. lol. I just had to let myself go. It was pretty amazing and a lot of fun! =D The band consisted of at least one violin, a flute, and a piano. I know there was one more instrument but I don't think I noticed because I was too busy trying to figure out how to dance. But they were SO good!!

The second dance I danced with Becca's sister (she decided to be a man for that dance, because that night, there were more women than men, sometimes it's somewhat equal ratio, and other times more men than women). It was fun with Deborah, but she's quite a bit shorter than I am, so it was kinda hard for her to have fun while doing her man steps as well as help me move along to the steps being called out, while not messing up other people's dance moves by messing up mine/ours. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was that, your partner stays the same pretty much throughout the dance, but your neighbor keeps changing. So you end up dancing with almost every guy that's in your line. Many of those men were very good about dancing with people like me. Strong and confident, being good examples, and being VERY encouraging, telling me that I was doing very well, as were each of my partners, although I quite frankly, didn't think I was doing THAT well. lol.

My third dance I took a break and didn't dance with anyone. Fourth song I danced with another of Becca's friends, who was an older man (I didn't ask his name). He was pretty good too about keeping the dance going even though I was not as good as any of them. Let me insert a bit of self-praise here - I felt like I wasn't doing that bad for a first timer coz I was actually enjoying it and felt like I was able to get a lot of the steps pretty fast, but that was at the beginning of the evening. Then I think I stayed out for one more dance and then a girl, Courtney, that was, I later noticed, a very graceful dancer, offered to be my "man" partner for the next dance while I was watching the then going on dance. But as soon as that dance was over, my friend Michael, came and asked if I wanted to dance. I told him I already had a partner for the next dance. So Courtney and I danced and that turned out to be a lot of fun too! I later found out Becca had asked him to dance with me and Dani because we had met him at school and was the one person we already knew before. And he did! She takes good care of us! =)

Then I don't remember clearly but I danced only one more official dance for the rest of the evening when another first timer, Alex from UNC, asked if I wanted to dance. I didn't think it was a good idea, because we were both first timers, but I really wanted to dance, and so I did! And that sequence of steps which involved "the haye" (I think that's how it's spelt, not sure though) just happened to be the hardest of all the dances we'd done that evening. haha! We messed up in the middle of the dance and got back in the flow a little after that. But we both had fun and he was doing pretty good for a first timer too! And then at the end, Michael came up again, because he'd gotten a chance to dance with Dani and not with me, if I wanted to waltz because after all the dances were over, the band/musicians were playing ballroom kind of music and several couples were dancing around the room. (Background info: I've always wanted to know how to do the ballroom dance so I can dance with my husband in the future haha, so I was thrilled when Michael made that suggestion). So Michael and I waltzed while Becca and Dani waltzed too! It was amazing! lol. He kinda gave an outline as to the basic things as to how to move and how to face your partner and stuff. After that Becca and I waltzed too, with a different kind of stepping than Michael showed me, but honestly, I felt like Becca's was a teeny bit harder. haha. And then Becca did a polkadancing "prance" with me, which is done in the ballroom position but faster and more crazy like haha. THAT was way too much fun for me... =D

I laughed out loud a LOT during those three hours! And I'm glad I could do that. I don't get to do that a lot. It lets you out as you are, instead of you having to hold back as though you are not entitled to "too much" happiness, and I think that kind of a refreshment is needed once in a while, not too often though, because then it loses its value.

Disclaimer: This post, if read by many of my people, considering that I don't live among a lot of my people anymore (if you're reading this, you probably know who you are), is probably gonna be looked at as a "scandal" in an exaggerated form, so I wanna say this - I don't really think it matters that much to me what people think as long as I know my heart is pure and as long as I know that my God knows my heart, because that's all that matters to me. God has worked in my life, throughout my life, not just after I came the US, and has made me to be the person I am today by bringing different people into my life and putting me in various situations and bringing me through, and you're probably one of those people too if I've interacted with you. So just be thankful that I still love the Lord Jesus Christ and am following Him and then (sorry, but I feel the necessity to put it this way because this has indirectly affected mine and my family's life a lot, in the past, just because of the way people pry into the lives of people whose business they have no business minding) - with all due respect, please... mind your own business...

Oh, also this previous paragraph are only my thoughts that the Lord has put in my heart, not my parents. They have done their job well, of bringing me up the way they knew best and I love and respect them for it. If you have something to say about this post, please let me know directly. Written with lots of love in my heart, for the sake of my Lord Jesus, for all of you.