Dear Journal: The Dance

dancer-silhouetteDear Journal,

I like to dance, to shake my hips, to shimmy to the ground, and to pop back up again like nobody’s business. I like to slide to the side, to bop my head to the invisible drumbeat, to get down with my bad self. It’s just something I was born with, this need to move my body in rhythm with the music in my mind.

But I’m like Phil Collins. I can’t dance. In my mind I can dance. In my mind I am Fred Astaire, light as air, fluid like rain tap, tap, tapping on a tin roof. But I can be honest with myself in the real world. I can’t dance. Not for lack of trying, I assure you.

I’ve watched the music videos, the complicated dance moves from choreographers, and I’ve tried my hardest to copy them move for move. My moves, though, they come out stilted and foreign. And I’m left to wonder who got the rhythm I was supposed to get.

I used to be self-conscious about it, when I thought the whole world was judging me for something I apparently couldn’t help. Then I realized it didn’t matter, that someone laughing at me wasn’t something I cared about. I could laugh too, while the dance continued, while the music in my head intensified to a fever pitch and swept me along with its ocean tides.

So I still dance, and I do it in the strangest places at the oddest times, with all the grace of a giraffe, but I don’t worry about who’s watching.

Sam

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