Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Spin Cycle

I have two plastic bracelets on my right wrist as reminders of my busy, fantastic weekend. One glows in the dark. It was my admission ticket to a school dance and it now represents how badly Chris and I* stunk up the dance floor on Saturday. We concluded school dances were invented just to make people uncomfortable. I thought maybe it was just me but, no, it's not, it's the whole thing. If you don’t have a date: what do you do? If you do have a date: where to you put your hands, where do you look? Either way: why are those people making babies in public?

"Something wet just hit me in the face."
"It was either sweat or spit, take your pick. Ohh! Or urine. Can you see what color it was? Maybe it was blood."

My other plastic bracelet is hot pink, a much better dancing experience. Matthew, Hillary, Chris, and I went to a music festival on Sunday and spent a couple hours in the afternoon contra dancing, square dancing, and waltzing. Let me just put out there that I have never been so sticky and sweaty in my life, and I didn't know it could get this hot, much less in May.

I was very nervous about this since I'd never been contra dancing before. A lot of my friends talk about wearing flowing skirts and taking Dramamine before they go. Well, I was in jeans and there was no Dramamine in my personal pharmacy. I also had no idea what I was doing but I knew my hand was going to have to go onto the shoulders of sweaty strangers. Yuck!

Lucky for me, the first couple we were partnered with knew what they were doing. In contra dancing, there are two people important to you: your partner (Chris) and your neighbor (changes). My first neighbor showed me how to swing correctly. His last instruction was, "and look me in the eye." Excuse me, sir, but you are forty years my elder and six inches from my face. Looking you in the eye is not very high on my priority list today, sorry. I did it and it was awkward.

When I started writing this blog, I was going to muse aloud about the awkwardness of eye contact, when it's socially acceptable, when it's done poorly, etc. I was also going to ponder why it's acceptable to make eye contact while contra dancing but not ok while slow dancing.

Well, I figured out that one. On the plywood make-shift dance floor I quickly learned why I must face the awkwardness and look my neighbor in the eye: if you don't, you are going to get dizzy, but when your eyes are locked with the other person the world around you is spinning but you are focused on one place. I began to loathe the people who refused to make eye contact with me. Staring at his ear is not quite as effective.

The hardest part is coming out of the swing because, well, the room's still spinning and you are not. In one the dances we did you swing your neighbor then swing your partner. Finding my partner and swinging again without falling over was quite a challenge sometimes. That cannot be healthy, and, boy, am I out of shape.

On the last swing of the day, an elderly gentleman swung me, we locked eyes, and I felt like I was flying. Somehow, we even found the breath to exchange hellos. Like all good things that, too, came to an end and it was time to find Chris. Lucky for me, his arm was around my waist and I was flying again before I felt drunk. When the song was over, I stood there with my arms out trying to regain balance but I'd do it again. Every sweaty man I had to touch was worth those two swings.

When we locked eyes and began to move, nothing else mattered. The barn spun behind us but our eyes remained stable (no pun intended). The music continued but we were stopped in a single moment of time.
That's how God wants to dance with you: lock eyes and push out the spinning world. Maybe that's not possible in a literal fashion but can't you focus on Him amidst the brouhaha of everyday life? Let Him lead and never take your eyes off of Him.

Oh, and please don't contra dance on a cruise ship. You really might fall.

<>< Katie

*Nope, still not facebook official so shhh or I’m not blogging about him again.


Anonymous said...

What an interesting post. :)
Yes, school dances are disturbing no matter what.

You should show us your mad dance moves some Sunday!

April Shelton said...

That was lovely. I love contra, and understand the insanity of it.

PS - unoffical congrats for the unoffical thingy...