We dance, when we love the music. We dance alone. We dance together. We give a little skip for a few seconds in the street, or we dance to the same track over and over again in our kitchens.
We might close our eyes and raise our hands, or we might bellow out the lyrics and clench our first in front of an ever-reddening face.
To dance alone is to free yourself. It is a release, and an expression of yourself, right now.
But when we dance together, it reveals the full beauty of the human spirit.
A familiar intro, will turn an empty dance floor at a wedding into a multi-generational mosh-pit. Grandpa is doing his best funky-chicken, and your little cousin is spinning around so hard that the string from a balloon is tied around their neck.
The first chords on the festival main stage, will create a ripple, then a wave. A crowd in unison, creating magic with the performer. It is the magic of memories created, and connections made. We were there. It was important.
But life is not a wedding. Moments at festivals are valuable because they are scarce. It is hard to dance together.
And too often when we try, we tread on each other’s toes and get in each other’s way.
Why is this?
Is it because we do not always know what the other person is thinking?
A dance requires a step forward, and a step back. A intent and a reaction. An understanding.
The elderly couple that we covet as they move as one, were not always that way. It took time. It took a commitment not only to learn their role, but each other’s role too.
It took attention. To learn the bits you cannot teach. The small signals and the bits that are not as smoothly executed, but make your dance unique.
That is how you miss the toes.
Is it because we forget to consider each other?
The festival crowd is a single unit. Individuals are lost into the pulsing, throbbing whole. But it is not without consideration.
That you are contributing to a collective moment, not a moment that is yours alone.
It takes generosity. The generosity that your good time, will not ruin the good time of the stranger next to you. And as you come apart at the end, the stranger becomes your friend.
They will never truly be a stranger again, you have found and shared a common ground. You have that moment.
It is a shared moment, forever.
And when a dance does not work, it is because something of that is missing?
Are we are ignoring the music, or worse ignoring each other?
We are not prepared to give the generosity of time, or the attention to learn each other. We do not consider the uniqueness of others.
We do not give consideration that when we do something together, the moment belongs to everyone. We do not allow ourselves to discover the common ground.
Life is a dance.
It can give us wonderful moments of solitude.
Moments of self-expression, and release.
Or, like the rock star poised for the first riff, it can give us moments to dance together.
It is always good to be mindful of which one you are doing.