Maybe I have a few friends who excel in relationships. I know I have a lot to learn, and that there is nothing more valuable to me than connecting with others.
I’ve been learning the most lately from dance. Partner dancing: two-step, polka and Western swing. Austin style, funky and diverse. For me, it is practicing relationships one song at a time. There is a greeting, and an agreement, a moment of listening for the beat and sound, a moment of coming together, syncopation, synthesis, a dual practice, playfulness, pageantry, acknowledgement, and an ending. Often there is some nod toward wanting to share another dance in the future. It requires manners and tact, and being emotionally present.
For my animal self, it also includes body language, scent, and putting my body in alignment with another. We use our bodies to hear the music. I have to follow a man’s leadership and trust him with the journey of the dance. My body is in conversation with another.
I look around the dance floor and see every shape, size and age of body participating in this social ritual. I see all kinds of ways to play. I see couples making each other happy. I see individuals learning to take risks.
I would say that I spent my 20’s learning how to be a person, my 30’s learning how to do my work, and here in my 40’s I am learning how to be a woman.