I was talking to an acquaintance recently, explaining some of the reasons I enjoy west coast swing, and I said something that I didn’t really acknowledge as true until I heard it leave my mouth.
According to Meyers Briggs I’m supposed to be a pretty creative person. One of the titles given to my MB type, which is ISFP in case you’re wondering, is The Artist. It couldn’t feel any farther from the truth.
Except when I’m dancing.
I don’t particularly enjoy learning (a tragedy, I know), and I don’t learn every new thing quickly, but dance makes sense to me. And not just dance in general, specifically west coast swing. The basis of the style is an energy exchange between two bodies, made possible by both partners being in complete control of their own centers of gravity, and staying connected to the floor, or, in dance terms, grounding. When both of those concepts are understood and put into practice, a whole new world opens up. The options become endless.
When I’m dancing, I feel like a part of a painting in progress. One of two hands creating something beautiful from something that was nothing at the start. With the music as the inspiration, the dance floor becomes an easel, my leader my palette, suggesting the colors, while I am the brush, taking the colors offered and deciding where to put them; sometimes throwing in a splash of color that is completely and uniquely mine.
In this current season of my life I feel like two different people. One person when I’m at home, and another when I’m with my dance family. At home I’m restless, unsure of nearly everything, and almost always in some state of stressed out. When I’m with my dance family, that all melts away. For a few hours, I don’t have to think about my reality. It’s okay that I don’t have a job. It’s okay that the job search is stale. It’s okay that I don’t have a lot of work experience to offer a big company. It’s okay that everywhere I’ve applied has turned me down.
It’s okay. Because for those few hours, everything is okay.