Saturday, May 30, 2015

If the Hair Ain't Flyin'

I have often received various compliments on the dance floor from my lady friends (to say nothing of guys I try to ignore), to the point of one telling me that she and some of her buddies find me intimidating because, as she put it, I proved rather intensely sexy.  Today I received perhaps the strangest...compliment...if I can call it that, in which a lady approached me as I warmed up before class with the following commentary, "I am straight and you are making me hot."  I laughed it off before I realized by the look on her face that she was not altogether joking.  Incidentally, if any of my gentle readers knows a good bodyguard, I might be interested in hiring one from here on out....

But my point of this post is not to share my disturbing experiences.  It is to throw out a few dance tips to anyone out there who may want to step up their game a bit, gain a little more confidence on the floor, or get the courage to step forward away from the rest of the wallflowers for the first time.  While there are many different and vastly different types of dance with different rules, one rule that applies for stepping out of the shadows toward the dance floor is that there are no rules.  I used to be terrified of dancing in public and one good day when I found myself at a party at the tender age of fifteen with none of my friends around I ventured out, thinking that if I made a complete fool of myself, at least no one around me knew who I was.  Apparently I didn't make a fool of myself and there were far too many individuals of the opposite gender who recognized it.  The rest is history. 

My years of practice since then taught me a few things about rockin' out on the floor.  Firstly, it isn't so much about how you look as it is about how you feel.  Close your eyes and connect to the music.  Move however the music tells you to move.  There is no right or wrong when you are engaged in this way.  Don't be afraid.  This is your time, your expression, and your body.  Secondly, for those who are a bit more advanced on this journey, make those movements pronounced.  Don't be shy in any way.  Express yourself to the fullest.  Thirdly (and my personal favorite), dance isn't about your feet alone.  It isn't about your legs alone.  It isn't about your arms alone.  Dance incorporates every shred, inch and particle of your person including the mind, heart, eyes, wrists, facial expression, and my favorites, the fingertips and hair.  Bring that expression down through your arms, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and let it flow straight out your fingers.  Your fingers are exceedingly important, because they prove a powerful detail that has the potential to speak volumes.  Is the music communicating a softness to your heart?  Soften your fingers.  Are you feeling graceful?  Let your fingers express it. Is this a low, gritty, grimy hip hop moment?  Show it in your hands.  And ladies, never ever be afraid to flip that hair!  I tend to be rather distinctive on the dance floor partly because my hair is dancing along with the rest of my body.  Much of the time it is covering half my face.  I enjoy the shadows it casts across my expression.  In slower, flamenco type songs, let it gently frame your face and use it to create a mood and expression all your own.  Rockin' booty kicking songs often find me looking something akin to cousin It at times because my hair is so much a part of the overall expression that it is hard to distinguish my face.  Let it get messy, because in a fast paced funk atmosphere, if the hair ain't flyin' are you really having fun?  For those of my lovely readers who have very little or no hair, no worries! Embrace it, enjoy it and make it a part of the overall expression that is beautifully, individually, exquisitely you.  And smile!

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