“the mountain’s daily speech is silence” – Denise Levertov
And so I wish for dance to be my daily speech that is silent.
This March, I was lucky to enroll in contemporary jazz dance classes.
Recall a previous post about bruises I got from the rehearsals. That was how excited I was.
Our dance teacher was Mervin, and my fellow dancers were nine-year-old Charlotte and call center girl Grazielle.
It was a three-day workshop set every Wednesday, and the culminating event-slash-recital happened on April 1.
I didn’t tell my siblings where the recital was to be held. I only invited one person and only because her insistence was very intense that she even offered to pay for half of the workshop fee. I declined her offer.
On the day of the recital, work got in the way for my sole audience. I was relieved. It eased the pressure oh so slightly.
From 3pm to 5pm, we were practicing our cues. We danced to Adele’s Someone Like You. By 6pm, we were tired. By 7pm, we were agitated. We performed after a pair of ballroom dancers. *jaw dropping
It was a great performance. No major mistakes happened, and I “felt” the music. That was my persistent question for Mervin: “Teacher, what if hindi ko ma-feel yung music?” That night, my body and the music connected. No one from my circle was there to watch me. I danced for myself. Which was perfect.
During the recital, numerous groups performed dance genres from belly dancing (I regret not recording this dance) to hip-hop. The sense of community was there; I felt affirmed as an aspiring dancer. I even recalled the audition episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and even played with the idea that this sense of community must be a fraction of what goes on in SYTYCD — the show of support, the encouragement, and the acceptance. We spoke the same language with our limbs and bodies. We spoke in silence amidst the necessary din that is music.
The next day, I rode an FX, and the radio station played Adele’s Someone Like You. As a certain song goes, “my heart skipped a beat”. And as another song goes, “you make me feel like dancing.” And yet another goes: “I’m dancing barefoot”.
I may not have the social graces, I may be chronically and clinically _____, I may be walking around catatonic deep within with a glint in my eyes, but there is rhythm in my bones. And nobody can ever tame it.