Thursday, December 01, 2005

On Being Dizzy...

And I'm not blond! My hair just takes on natural streaks in the summer. >-) Anyway, a quick warning: this post is not about tea. But it's a fun one, nonetheless.

The DH (dear husband) and I went
contra dancing last week. Contra dancing, for me, always promises to be an evening of great fun. Contra dancing is like what happened in the movie Shakespeare in Love. You dance in pairs (doesn't require male/female) and the group of dancers forms two long lines, facing each other. The dance is to an 8-step count and the music really hammers out this rhythm - it's hard to miss, even for those who don't have a musical ear. If you can walk 8 steps and turn around, you can contra dance! The dance steps are called out and you progress up or down the line of dance. You will dance with both your partner (who stays the same) and neighbor (who changes each 8 counts). It's kind of like square dancing, only without the crazy clothes and in long lines vs. squares. Hippie types (both original and new) tend to be drawn to this, as do those who appreciate good, live music. The music is almost always live! That rocks! There are a fair number of non-hippies, too, so don't be scared.

There are a standard set of dance steps - balance and swing, allamande, gypsy, do-si-do, left and right star, etc. Contra dancing tends to be done by a faithful crew - many of them having danced for years and years. But the cool thing is that newcomers are ALWAYS welcome! And, if you get lost during a dance, someone will just nudge you along the line.

Now, coming to the dizzy part....the swing step has you move, with your partner, in a small circle. Each partner leans back and pivots around a center, so that you're propelling each other around. When done well, you can really be fluid and build up some speed. It's very fun!

Not to brag, but I'm a pretty good follower. Experienced dancers pick up on this quickly. What this means is that I often get swung with a flourish! Swung really fast, then with a twirl out. Spin-spin-spin. Last week, I danced about 5 contras in a row. By dance 3, I was in a perpetual state of dizziness. And, my stomach hurt from laughing so much! I fought the dizzy state at first - trying all the tricks of focusing on my partner's eyes (or nose, or buttons), focusing on the same spot on the wall, etc. It wasn't working. Somewhere in dance 3, I decided to let go and just "be" dizzy.

Here's the cool part - when I decided to stay dizzy, everything was OK. I didn't fall down, I didn't trip, I didn't knock someone over. I was able to keep dancing. I just had to change my expectation and frame of reference. I let dizzy be my normal (albeit altered) state. It was actually really interesting to experience this - my body felt different, but I could still control it and be a smooth dancer. I just trusted myself and that a hand would be there to catch me when I was done spinning! This could be a metaphor for life, at least for me.


otherwise known as john the magnificent said...

You're blonde on the inside, even if not the outside. No, just kidding. Yeah, those contra dancing hippies. My ex-Lindsey was big contra dancer. Apparently it is popular in burque.

john again said...

as I read further this was a really good blog about conscious living and especially about 'being with the moment' and how to deal with difficult emotion (in this case dizziness) through witness consciousness.