I recently divulged my coming-of-age dance story. Today, I will share how discovering Blues Fusion impacts my existence.
Human touch heals. Touch is vital to survival. Physical connection and emotional connection don’t necessarily accompany one another. Touch can feel empty. Touch can be loaded. Touch can be neutral. Emotions and presence can be absent. Emotions can be experienced across vast distances void of touch, they can overwhelm. Emotions can be kept in check. During partner dance, all of these can happen over and again in one night.
Long hours and thousands of dollars in marriage counseling led to the discovery a few months ago that my husband has Aspergers Syndrome. More appropriate counsel is being sought as we devour related literature, but the gist of it is that while we have an excellent business partnership, emotional depths are shallow or absent. Partnered dance provides a space for emotional connection. Seven years of marriage I operated under ill advised counsel that feelings are unreliable, that if I acted a certain way then the feelings would follow. Last July my unmet emotional needs became so great that I could deny them no longer. I felt I would rather die than continue an existence concentrated upon right action with complete disregard to emotion. Knowing not what else to do, I cried out to my higher power. “Do something!” I spoke with my husband of my inner experience and that I felt I needed to seek connections with others, sensing what I wanted could not be found in our relationship months before the AS discovery. The following night we went Blues Fusion dancing the first time, and as told, I met Gravy. Both seem no coincidence, for after years of not being able to connect with my higher power in a meaningful way, I am rediscovering connection anew. I venture to say my spiritual existence and experience are ever shifting, relationships and time are rallying something inside of me closer to the life I want to live.
When I dance, I am utterly present. When I am not, it becomes obvious with a quickness. I’ve said before that in dance we are at once present to ourselves, the music, the floor, and partner. Occasionally, I have been unable to find my center. I confessed such a thing to an experienced dance ninja months ago, and he offered me to ground myself in him. I thought such a thing taboo and that in order to dance the primary connection needed to be with myself, yet as I let go of whatever was tripping me up that night, I got out of my own way and abandoned myself to share a higher experience. Where I couldn’t connect with myself, the floor, or the music, this lead invited me to ground myself in him. Abandoning what didn’t work for me that night, I took a deep breath and surrendered to this man. He reached out and found me. He cradled me into a harmony I could not on my own discover that night. Following dances enjoyed a newer, more present me and I no longer felt at odds with the elements.
Oft times a dance is just a dance. Yet some connections allow us space to find our footing, to discover ourselves anew. Dance need not hold these depths, but they are possible. I partner dance, because it is fun. I enjoy connecting with other people in conversation requiring no words. My experience is not another’s and connections are not always matched. May we admit that in life something guides us which surpasses logic?
Images in this post by Samuel Nesbitt Photography
Model/Dancer: Chris Schultz
Set location: Firehouse 5
MUAH and Wardrobe: Self