Monday, April 4, 2011


I went salsa dancing tonight. Not because I wanted to... I didn't. I went because my friend invited me and I wanted to spend some time with her, and because I need to Get Out And Meet Guys. I had no illusions of meeting anyone in particular, but we all know the logic. When you're single, it's better to get out than sit at home. So I put on a cute dress, threw back a couple of gin and tonics to steel myself and off I went.

I actually had a blast. It's a good workout, and a lot of the moves started to come back to me from many years ago when I dated a guy from Ecuador who taught salsa. The teacher kept us rotating among partners so it never got really uncomfortable with anyone and I did manage to avoid dancing with The Creepy Guy (there's always one) more than once.

It got me thinking about my theory for Why I Generally Can't Learn Dance Moves, though, so this is a poem about that.


I decided a long time ago
that I don't like "dancing".
I like moving to music.
I like jumping, twirling,
leaping up into the air
and throwing my body around
like a wild horse that nobody can train.

Most of my life has been this way...
a lusty love for my own enthusiasm,
and disdain for careful precision,
cannonballing into the water yelling "Geronimo!!!"
while others sensibly suit up
and dive in clean lines
with bodies like arrows
smoothly slicing the water.

Needless to say, this has cost me.
I have scars and strange fears
that show where my history has marked me

Over time, I've become better at dancing,
remembering the steps,
rising early, eating breakfast,
going to work, keeping the rhythm
of a life well-ordered
and sensibly lived.

But I know that inside of me
there is a desire to run free and crazy-wild
and fling my body through the air
without caring where I land.

There are some things that I just can't change.

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