One of my earliest and most heart warming memories is of my parents dancing in the living room of the first home  the three of us lived in. I was probably two or three years old, and from that short-in-stature perspective my memory is mostly of their swinging and swaying arms and legs.I don’t know what song was playing or if it was day-time or night-time , but I can still see the the record player, the set-up of the living room and my parents dancing around me.

I remember trying to snap along with the rhythm of the music but not quite having the motor skills to do so. Several times, my dad patiently showed me the mechanics to make the ‘click’ sound, but my small hands could only ‘swish’. So, they snapped, I swished and we all danced.

It was spontaneous, free-spirited dancing. The kind of dancing that happens to you. Dancing because the music, the rhythm overtake your inhibitions, your self control and you just give in to the beat and the desire to move. It was fun and freeing and full of love and joy.

I grew up dancing, formally ballet, tap, jazz, modern and informally on the weekends with friends, at home by myself or whenever the mood struck me.

I still feel that love, freedom and joy when I dance, and I dance frequently.

I dance through the house interrupting whoever and whatever for a little freestylin’ solo. I dance in the car – kind of a seated wiggle dance with a lot of head shaking and bobbing.  I dance when I’m telling a story to my friends or family adding a little spin and “ta-da” to the climax. I dance to the music in my head when I walk the dog. (I know, that probably makes me look crazy.) Sometimes I dance to be silly and funny (interpretive dance, anyone?), and sometimes I dance because I just can’t hold still.

I. LOVE. TO. DANCE. *jazz hands*

I don’t dance for attention or because I think I’m great at it. I dance, because I am incapable of not dancing. I think the desire to dance – to move to a beat is deep-seated in humans. I don’t care if you have rhythm or not, technical skill or not; if the music is good, if it speaks to you, at the very least, you want to get your arse out there and shake it.

That happens to me. Sometimes I’m just not comfortable enough to dance. In that situation, I usually end up keeping the beat with every available extremity – feet tapping, leg bouncing, hands clapping, head bobbing. I probably look like I have some kind of anxiety disorder. There’s nothing worse than wanting to let loose with some fancy foot work and not feeling free enough to do so…

Oh wait, there’s a cliche for that: DANCE LIKE NO ONE IS LOOKING!

(Surely you didn’t think I was going to get through a post this lengthy without a cliche!)

Shake your booty to this: