This morning I read a blog post written by a father who was dancing at home with his very young daughter. That image brought back memories. I can remember being home with my small kids on grey rainy days and turning the music on to dance, more for me than them. Allowing my body to move to a rhythm always brightened my mood, made the day seem less grey. On Saturday evenings, we used to always have a dance party, listening to an oldies station and dancing in the living room with our own kids and a bunch of extras.
Even now, when I'm home grading papers on a grey morning, alone in the house since all my kids are old enough for school, I'll take a break to turn on some music and dance, shimmying and twirling and moving past the sink of dirty dishes and the carpets that need to be vacuumed. Sometimes I will put on Middle Eastern music to do my belly dancing drills. Other times (and I hate to admit this because at least one person in this community will mock me for my music choices), I'll put on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing or Footloose. I love to dance. I love the movement, the energy, the way it makes my body feel.
Two of the academic conferences I go to host dances as part of the conference. In my field, conference presentations can often be stiff and formal, so watching my colleagues loosen up on the dance floor lets me see them in a different light. Dancing helps turn a group of people from all different geographic locations into a community. I often wonder how different our culture would be if we all spent more time dancing.