It wasn’t the kind of class I would have expected to bring me to my knees. Literally. It was a Friday morning Nia class with Jule and I was filled with joy from the moment I saw Jule’s reflection in the mirror. It was my kind of set, with music you can sing to and that you’re as likely to find in a club as you are in a dance studio. I like a good mystical soundtrack as much as the next girl. But sometimes you just need a little Usher.
That’s why I was so surprised. So surprised as a new song began to play, one I don’t remember now, surprisingly. The last song of the class. Jule invited us to heal ourselves and move and stretch and dance however our bodies called us to. I found my way to the floor quickly and before long all of the packed class was on there with me.
The beauty of that moment left me awestruck. All of these bodies moving and rocking and changing. All of these shapes and spirits and forces of goodness and joy. It was beautiful. I mean that in a sunset over the sea, first snow on the mountains, colors in the sky after a spring rain sort of way. A beauty that stops the world if only for a moment.
And as I looked around the room, I instantly began to weep. All around me were these amazing, dancing, warrior women so graceful and so strong, healing themselves and healing the universe.
I wept for everyone who wasn’t there, for everyone who couldn’t be there, who can’t be there.
I wept for corporate America and their tiny cubes and their wastefulness of the human mind and the human spirit and the human body. And I wept for myself and the year I wasted in their clutches allowing them to break me, allowing them to take me, allowing them to make me one of their hollow souls.
Only they never could really. They never could stop me from taking off my shoes or sitting on the floor or laughing so loudly it filled the halls. They never could stop my spirit from shining through even the tiniest cracks. And so they fired me and I am ever grateful for that release. Ever and eternally grateful. Sometimes only someone else can release us from our chains, even our psychic ones.
But I am left to wonder if they would still lie cheat and steal if they had curled and creeped, crawled and walked and danced with us that day. I don’t think they would. I don’t think they could.
And I wondered if a government would declare war on a country full of people that they have danced their joy with. I don’t think they would. I don’t think they could.
And I wonder if man would raise his hand against another, against a child, against an animal, against the earth, if he shared our dance? I don’t think he would. I don’t think he could.
I wondered. Who would we be if everyone in the universe danced? Who would we be if the universe danced?
The creativity and brilliance and humanity and joy that is lost in the world, that is never even given the chance to be at all, leaves me raw and cold and sorrowful. But I refuse to carry that burden of global grief on my back every day. Instead I choose to heal it.
And so until everyone spins and hops and claws and rocks, until everyone sways and stretches and reaches and shines, I will dance for them. And some days, I will weep.
About Jenny Block:
Jenny Block is a freelance writer and the author of “Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage” (2008 Lambda Literary Award). Among other gigs, she writes a weekly sex column for FoxNews.com. Jenny holds a BA and MA in English and taught college composition for ten years. For more on Jenny, visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com.