I first learned to dance with my kids shortly after they were born. They were in a pack strapped to my front side, and were usually crying or fussing when we started. The 70’s music and the steady movement to the rhythm soon had them quiet. I’m not sure what that did to their psyche or their developing musical tastes, but it worked well for me. We were building relationship while dancing.
Since then dancing has cropped up again, in different forms, but always serving good purpose. Ballet lessons were fun, but rather short lived. Swing dancing had a good run too – doesn’t everyone wish they could do that? I think both girls have had a stab at learning ballroom dancing as well. It’s easy to get tired of rocking back and forth from one foot to the other, endlessly, no matter what the music. A little waltz, foxtrot or salsa makes it so much more interesting, even if you only get to show it off at weddings.
I think it was during the swing dance stage that we decided to start a dance night at our family reunions. I remember pushing the furniture back in our lanai in Florida and everyone doing the chicken dance, and the hop, hop, hop one. This was such an easy tradition to begin because two of my brothers actually had been in the mobile DJ business at one time. They knew how to produce the music that fit the crowd. Family reunions should not be only about sitting around talking. There should be activity that all ages can do (in some form) together.
Both my daughters continued to love the family dance concept and both included it in their pandemic wedding plans (yes, two weddings in the last two years!).
The reception tent in Julia and Kevin’s yard became a dance floor after the tables and chairs were moved away. Although they had visions of dancing under the stars, the stars were not visible because of the downpour. Rain dripped off the tent roof and soaked into the ground. Soon we had mud, red clay-ish mud staining shoes and hemlines, even the beautiful wedding dress! But it was all the more memorable because of the hint of adversity. Dancing in the rain has it’s place in our history now.
Esther and Ryan ordered clear weather and a raised dance floor. I wonder why? There was actual dancing under the stars and there were some wildly, beautiful moves. Fun to do, fun to watch.
What memories has your family made around dance? It’s never too late to put on a favorite song and start dancing with your kids, even if all you do is rock back and forth from one foot to another.