SINGING AND DANCING YOUR ASS OFF IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR OWN HOME –
When I was a little girl around the age eight, my mother called me in her room with that serious, ‘you’re in big trouble’ tone; although she used that tone so frequently, it felt like I was always trouble even when I wasn’t. On this particular day she sat me down on her bed and I watched her, waiting for her to speak and ‘ground’ me for whatever mischief I had gotten into this time; though the so-called ‘grounding’ never actually stuck in our house. I’m not sure whether we just ignored it or she never really cared that much to follow through. But either way, I think I was actually ‘grounded’ once in my entire life. I had gone missing one day after school and didn’t let my parents know that I was actually out with friends, cruising the streets as thirteen-year-olds do. This was when we didn’t have cell phones, so they assumed I was laying dead in the street somewhere. By the time my mother pulled up beside me in the station wagon and called my name in that ‘tone’ I knew I was in serious trouble, and quickly left the group to get into the car. I was grounded ‘forever’ as she said. Fair enough. I deserved that one.
But on this particular day, as I sat on her bed and waited, her face looked confused. She wasn’t angry and it seemed as though she was struggling to find the words. I, on the other hand, was scouring my brain to think about what I had done, stolen, or said to put me in this position. Yet my mind was a blank. I was a pretty good kid most of the time.
Then she spoke. “I’m not really sure how to say this, so I’m just going to say it, okay?”
“Okaaaaay,” I responded hesitantly.
“One of the neighbors across the street has seen you dancing in your room at night, and when it’s dark outside and the lights are on inside, you can see everything.”
“That makes sense. But what’s the problem?” I asked.
“Well, if our neighbors can see you, then probably other perverts can see you.”
“Ah, I see,” it all began to register.
“I love that you love to dance,” she continued. “It’s amazing that you get so much joy from it. But perhaps we don’t want to share that joy with perverts, okay? Don’t stop dancing. Ever. Perhaps you can just close your blinds first?”
“Consider it done. And thanks for not grounding me. I thought I was in serious trouble there for a minute. What a relief?”
“Wait. Why would I ground you? What did you do, Jaime?”
But it was too late. Before she said my name I had run out down the hall and back to my room to dance it out to J.Lo.
My mother was right though. Dancing brings such immense amount of joy. When I’m dancing, it’s like the rest of the world disappears. I have no thoughts; just emotions coming through my entire body. Dancing is not only fun (I mean, have you ever seen someone dance without a smile on their face?), but dancing is also a great way to release emotion. Of course emotion comes out my eyeballs like a regular person. But dance is another way to dispense any negative thoughts or feelings I have.
So get out there and dance! Crank up the volume to your favourite tunes (I highly recommend Stevie Wonder), get in front of the mirror, and DANCE IT OUT! Just remember to close your blinds first.