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Monday, March 07, 2005


"Dance me to your beauty
With a burning violin
Dance me through the panic
till I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch
and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love..." Leonard Cohen

I've always loved dancing. I especially love the senuous movements of Latin dancing.
When I was a teen-ager, my strict Baptist parents prohibited dancing, convinced it would lead to erotic behavior. So if I wanted to join in any school socials I'd have to lie and say it was a 'Square dance'. I was a shy kid and longed to dance as well as other girls, but usually hung back and just watched. I probably 'jive' better now than I did back then.

When I got my first job after high school graduation, I secretly started going to dance lessons: ballet and flamenco dancing. I hid my dance shoes and tights and sneaked off once a week to Kay Armstrongs Dance Studio downtown. I knew I was too old by then to become a real dancer, but I loved the lessons, the fluid artfulness of the ballet and the exotic passionate zapadeados and castanets of the flamenco dance. One day my Mom discovered my ballet shoes so I told her I was taking lessons. She accepted that and even let me practice at home. At the newspaper office tower where I worked, which was built in a hexagon around the elevator shafts, I'd practice my zapadeados in the marble-floored hallways while I was running errands for the reporters. Then, as soon as I was 'of age' my friends and I started going to the dances downtown: Danceland on Fridays and The Embassy Ballroom on Saturdays.

I twisted and chachacha'd my way through the '60's. And in the '70's life in a hippie household became one long boogie. I recall attending many concerts where I'd be on the floor whirling and twirling, free as a butterfly. Then there were the disco days, and now it's the Salsa.

This week I have been writing an erotic scene for my novel. Erotic and love scenes have to be choreographed much like a dance, every move carefully paced, to build the sexual tension.

Just to keep in the spirit of the day, I decided later to go and see the movie "Kinsey" , an informative and interesting film. (I still recall the scandal of "The Kinsey Report" and after that, the sexual revolution began!

I read the new chapter segment tonight at my critique group and it was well received. Now I can get on with plotting more political intrigues. And eventually there will be some fight/battle scenes which also have to be choreographed.

Dancing is definitely an important part of this writer's life. But living the solitary life that I do, the other parts of it are left mainly to my imagination...and of course (as we writers must rely on our own experiences)...all those delicious memories!

"It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air!"
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde 1854-1900

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