I had an interesting day today. First was my indecision of whether I wanted to go to class or go out salsa dancing. Though I’d decided to go out, at the 11th hour I went to class instead– it was a moment where I realized that the main reason I would have gone out was for social reasons and not really the dancing. When the social reasons disappeared (get well soon, N!!) I really didn’t feel like it anymore. Interesting, my first salsa vs. modern internal conflict, and I never would have predicted the day when modern won out. Granted, I’ve gone through this phase numerous times where I’ve been “over” the DC salsa scene, and I always come back to it with enthusiasm. This time, the difference is that I’ve never never found the alternative so attractive.

So I went to the class, and by the time I was halfway through it, I was close to tears. Part of the reason may have been my frustration with nailing the sequence (the teacher is new to me), perhaps it was my general tiredness, or maybe the bruises on my right hand and left shin. However, the above are all familiar to me, and this feeling was much more profound. It now sounds trite to me as I write this, but as I danced tonight I felt that I was accessing an emotional part of myself that I’d never accessed in quite the same way. The emotion– wherever it came from– overwhelmed me. The music and the movements were so beautiful and expressive and I located my emotional source for them. I now think I know the meaning of “sweet sorrow.”

I think this is what dance is about for me. This physical expression digs out the things I cannot put into words– joy, sorrow and everything in between. Dance can be many things to many people: it can be political, it can be intellectual, it can demonstration of physical ability, and so on. But for me it is pretty much (I say pretty much because I can also be political, intellectual, and physical, and so on…) a way to access, express, and narrate emotion.

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