It Could Lead to Dancing!
Q: Why don’t Baptists make love standing up?
A: It could lead to dancing.
I love this joke. Not only because I used to be Baptist but also because it illustrates in a very funny way how our inhibitions and self-defined restrictions can keep us from experiencing the ecstatic life, the world of the Rowdy Goddess.
I have had my struggles with dancing. I used to not like to dance; and I think I picked up on some non-verbal messages from my family in childhood. My mother once told me that one of the few regrets she has is that she never learned to dance. I think I picked up on that along with the messages that I was clumsy, had two left feet. When I was in junior high, I shot up from five foot nothing to five foot seven and something. Growing into that body took a long time. My gawky stage lasted for decades. That, coupled with the fact I’ve always been chubby-pleasingly-plump-you-have-such-a-pretty-face-fattie-round bodied woman made the thought of dancing an embarrasing prospect. “Fat chicks don’t dance,” is one of the message one of my friends told me she got.
At the same time, I could feel the rhythms in my body and my feet itched to dance. I love to watch dancing of all kinds. Movie musicals like Singin’ In the Rain and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers always made me want to dance and sing for joy. “What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again!”
I couldn’t bring myself to dance because I was very aware that those around me made comments and jokes about others.
Then things changed. I got dogs and we used to dance together when no one was looking. I saw a belly dancing troup in Ithaca and was enchanted. Beautiful women of all sizes, shapes, and ethnicity danced in this troupe. They had glittering costumes and flowing veils. It was beautiful. I signed up for a class. And didn’t go.
A year later I signed up for a class and went. The teacher is wonderful; www.moonlightdancer.com The first thing she said was that every woman’s body is made for this kind of dance–the better term for it is Middle Eastern Dance–and every woman’s body looks beautiful. As soon as we started to move, I started to smile and couldn’t stop. It was like I had done this before or in many other lifetimes.
I don’t think I’m really good at it and I don’t care! I just feel the music and move with it. Not only that, the people in my life who were voicing criticisms are no longer in my life and I realized that released some chains, so now I move unfettered. And of course Mouse likes to dance and is good at it. He encouraged me to dance around the fire at gatherings and to dance at weddings. We have fun.
Moving our bodies in ritual or after an intense meditation allows us to shake out the things we no longer and need and provide an active place for the new. So be careful if you begin this, it could lead to dancing.
Embedded in that joke is a fear of letting go and a fear of the ecstatic dance. When we are in Union with our Gods and in the flow of the Universal energy we are ecstatic. It will lead to dancing.
May you dance your beauty and your truth!