This I Believe

Paige - Portland, Oregon
Entered on November 30, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity

I believe there is magic in the moment when one person asks another, “Would you like to dance?”

When I walk onto the dance floor and face my partner, I make a connection with another human being. Our hands touch; our eyes meet; we begin to pay attention to each other and move together. Maybe I know the steps, maybe I don’t. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that moment, being present in it, and sharing it with someone else.

I’ve been social dancing for about 10 years now. I’ve tried it all: Swing, salsa, two-step, tango, zydeco, blues, waltz, or whatever my partner leads. I love them all! Learning the steps is as fun as it is challenging. Expressing myself through movement is a great creative outlet. But most of all, it’s the connection that draws me back out to the ballroom, studio, barn, or wherever tonight’s dance is taking place.

I’m a busy single woman, and I admit I rarely make time to truly connect with other people. Even most families I know don’t often slow down and look at each other, touch each other, or wiggle and play and laugh. But on the dance floor, all of this happens.

I think this is one of the reasons dance competition shows are so popular on TV these days. Somewhere in each of us is the longing to connect with another person. To move and be moved.

Another reason I love social dancing is that it doesn’t discriminate. Women can lead and men can follow. I’ve seen toddlers beg for more as Dad twirls them in circles, and 80-year-old couples waltzing as if they were newlyweds. I’ve seen a man in a wheelchair lead his partner through the most graceful of spins. Every night I see people from all walks of life coming together, putting aside their differences, and filling a room with laughter.

And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the laugh that floats up from a dance floor. It is pure unbridled joy.

Dancing doesn’t require prior knowledge; anyone can learn the steps. It doesn’t require a regular partner; you will meet people in classes and at the dances. All it takes is an openness to try something new and to share yourself, for three minutes at a time, with another human being.

That is why I believe in the power of every step, every spin, every grin that we let loose on a dance floor. I truly believe the world becomes a better place – we become better humans – when the question, “Would you like to dance?” is answered with a resounding “Yes!”