Dance! Dance to the music! I dance often, daily, in fact. I “shake it,” “move that bass,” “boogie,” “get down,” “get funky,” or whatever anyone wants to call moving one’s body to the rhythm of the music. I dance at home, or pool side, or even while riding in a car (as long as someone else is driving) when there is a song being played that makes me want to move my arms and legs to the beat. I keep the beat, which comes naturally for me, by always following the bass drum, being sure to place my feet on the floor on the downbeat. I have been dancing most of my life, including on roller skates (Hokey Pokey, anyone? How about the Limbo?). When I am in a restaurant, store, or someplace where good music is being played, I tap my toes, snap my fingers, and sometimes, even “bust a move” right where I am! David, sadly, doesn’t enjoy dancing, but that has never stopped me from dancing whenever, and wherever, the beat goes on. There has been considerable social science research on the benefits of dancing for both mental and physical health. In 2013, I attended a professional association meeting, The Association for Psychological Sciences, at which music and dancing were topics of numerous scientific presentations. Music is widely known to have a positive impact on people with a variety of psychological maladies, including dementia, and dancing, at least for people like me, goes hand in hand (or foot in foot!) with music. Dancing burns calories, it costs nothing, and it is fun! Dance with me!
I can attest to Melissa’s dancing propensities. Just this morning, before going to court to help select a jury in a challenging case, there she was, dancing while eating her breakfast in the hotel room. The dancing, I should add, is always to music. That is, music is, perhaps, the driving force in her dancing. She always brings her music, though sometimes, she may be dancing to the music in her head. Bringing music once involved traveling with a portable cassette player (who remembers the magical Sony Walkman?), but for many years, it has involved an iPod and a powerful portable speaker. Music is almost always playing in our house, in our hotel rooms, or in the car. I wish I could share her love of dancing, but I feel like my feet are glued to the floor. A little head bouncing to Rush is about as far as I go. It just doesn’t happen. I enjoy watching those who enjoy dancing and I feel left out but I can’t seem to find the motivation to participate. I love Orleans’ song, Dance with Me, but it ends there. Maybe if it weren’t for my Baptist school and upbringing it might happen. But, some things are difficult to overcome – a truism that impacts many parts of a person’s life. But, I’ve learned even if I can’t enjoy dancing, I can enjoy the music. Another lesson is learning to take the positive side of things.