*picture – “Children Dance” by William H. Johnson
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A friend of mine from South Louisiana told me, “Those Cajun boys know how to dance.” She was talking fondly about a particular young Cajun man as if to say, “I love dancing with that guy.”
I wondered what it must be like to dance so well that other people want to dance with me for the sheer joy of it. To move with such energy and grace and abandon that others are swept up in the movement.
From time to time I find myself—with some reluctance—on a dance floor. While I’m under no illusions about my abilities, I do still aim for a sort of John Travolta thing.
I’m not thinking of the wiry, lithe Travolta of “Saturday Night Fever.” Instead, I picture myself as the older, chunkier Travolta of “Pulp Fiction.”
In that film, his Vincent and Uma Thurman’s Mia win a twist competition at a fifties-themed restaurant called Jack Rabbit Slim’s. Their version of the twist was way cooler and, well, hotter than anything Chubby Checker ever dreamed of.
My flailing arms and wooden footwork bear no resemblance to Travolta’s sensuously effortless turning and twisting. A fair description of my dance moves might include words like awkward and stiff.
And yet, despite my clumsiness, my wife Joy and I have fun when we dance. It always takes me a few minutes to get past my self-consciousness, to push through my fear of… Read More