Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ballroom and Writing: Part I

I've been standing straighter since ballroom started. It is affecting my hunched over look, the one that exudes a contemplative writer lifestyle that I adopt out of habit or out of a desire to imitate some sort of writerly posture. Don't ask why I assumed that writer's hunch. Ballroom dancers never hunch. Jolene, the dance coach, will wander the overheated gym adjusting bodies like a sculptor: pushing in bellies here, grabbing butts and hips to align them under the ribcage, slightly adjusting the minute angle of an arm connection. I've begun noticing when my shoulders come forward toward my chest and up towards my ears, and the middle of my spine begins to twinge and ache. There is a sharp pain in my left shoulder from where I've strained it into good posture.

Making my body dance is like making my words work on a page--making me pay better attention to the world, to myself, to ideas, to physicality. Writing and ballroom have become two partners in my own dance of being alive; staying sane; enjoying; laughing; being. They challenge me to constantly practice attentiveness and concentration to the world, keeping my feet on Here and Now's ground.

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