I recently learned that Baptists were right to be afraid of dancing after all!
Why are Mennonites and Baptists afraid of sex?
Because it might lead to dancing.
That old saw was told to me in September but only in the last week have I truly understood its import, when I started taking ballroom dancing lessons.
Thus far have learned, been introduced to the following basic steps for beginners:
I love it. Made a resolve for the new year to completely challenge myself, take my little old self dramatically out of my comfort zone, do something that terrifies me.
Public speaking doesn’t frighten me. Give me a topic, give me a week to prepare-think-research and then I will speak about it. No problem. Not my idea of fun but I can do it, have done it, tons in all the education I have had in my life. Being out there on the dance floor, now that is frightening. Growing up at school I felt impossibly self conscious dancing, could not relax at all and stunk at it, which was ironic in that I love music and am athletic-coordinated. The intersection of being self conscious as a teen and the opposite sex factor just destroyed me. I was totally shy, awkward, nervous, uptight around girls all through high school.
Love (below) this image from 1651 on English rural-country dancing.
I love my dance teacher (F, whom I will call N as if this is some 19th c. Russian novel and I am hiding from the censors). Omg she is just so supportive, gentle, fun, playful, enthusiastic. Come to think of it, aren’t these the qualities we want to find in a lover? A friend was busting my chops today, stating
“Who the hell ever heard of a bi man who cannot dance? No one!”
Below is a beautiful image I think that just flows together. . All quite ambiguous where one person starts, the other ends, a veritable rainbow and riot of colours, and androgynous. It shouts out to me about being bi.
Someone the other day said to me “Imagine doing these sensual, erotic, sexual dances with someone you are madly in love with?”
Actually, I tried not to think of that too much because then I would be fit for the Royal Bethlehem Mental Hospital (hence where we get the word “Bedlam” from) in London, England. The dancing instruction I have now had, only totaling up one hour (so Nijinsky need not worry, yet) reminds me of how one should be in the nuptial bed with your partner: playful, relaxed, fun, no pressure, graceful, at ease. Versus what often happens between the sheets; White knuckle terror, fear, pressure to perform, anxiety, guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy, holding back how you feel, what you feel, what you want.
If dance is expressive (and if it is not that, it is nothing) then romping in bed for me too much in life has been an exercise in inhibition. It does not matter now to me so much why-how there was inhibition, just there was. Who cares whose fault it was.
Below is the sun that gives us life. Celebrate. Something about each person dancing-doing their own thing in the image that I love. At the end it all works, the kaleidoscope of movement.
Not sure any obvious dancing-bi angle in all this except that insofar that dancing is about being yourself, expressing yourself, then that is a nifty little snapshot of what we should be, in the bi community. Ourselves. Maybe the next time I’m in bed with someone I will channel my dancing self to them and communicate that way somehow.
Everyone knows already that most communication (75%?) is non-verbal. Dancing truly brings (to me at least) the whole self along for the ride. Romping in bed should be like that too. An exercise of the entire person as opposed to some kind of mechanical action. For some reason as a teen, I read the Benchley novel “Jaws”, that the film was based on in the mid 1970s. The only thing I remember from the book was some sidebar scene in which the oceanographer character Matt Hooper (played in film by Richard Dreyfus) has a fling with the wife of the Roy Schneider character. The author describes the carnal union with imagery from a motor car. How pathetic is that!
I never forgot that. It was so robotic. Not a beautiful thing at all. If the Brazilians (who are hosting the Mundial this summer) can call soccer/football “the beautiful game”
il jogo bonito (?) then doesn’t it behoove us to make shtupping (go find your Yiddish dictionaries for that one) at least that or preferably more important than that? Oy veh.
It is when we express ourselves that we impress. It is when we lose ourselves in an act of creation that it is important.
Have a sense in my life that being bi is completing myself. I have opened myself up to who and what I truly am. It is ironic that dancing eluded me for the opening half century of my life because overall, I am a sensuous, tactile, athletic, physical being. More than most actually, by far. My genes are Italian, so I should take to this physicality like a fish to water.
Dancing is an art, the spirit soaring, the ethereal, that which cannot be defined, limited and I too am completely simpatico with that approach to life.
It is an intersection of these 2 worlds. They complement one another.