December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I love all forms of dance, of movement, but Lindy Hop will always hold the number one spot in my heart when it comes to the form of dance that makes me feel the most alive. It wasn’t until I went two whole months without it, however, when I realized this.
The hiatus began when my mom’s cancer started to intensify; I couldn’t bring myself to go out and have fun while every day that came and went, she became closer to dying. Even after my mom passed, I didn’t go back out social dancing right away; I needed some time to grieve, so showing up at a social dance full of people whom I hadn’t seen in months didn’t seem like a good idea since I wouldn’t be able to put on a “happy face.”
Three weeks later, I finally made it back out. Going into the dance, I was apprehensive. “Two months is the longest I’ve ever gone without social dancing. Will I even be able to remember how to do a swingout?” I nervously thought to myself. I was timid, but still curious to rediscover something I vaguely remembered. After tying the laces of my dance shoes and getting asked to dance by one of my favorite leads, I made my return back to my element, my home away from home: the social dance floor.
As it turns out, I had completely underestimated the power of my body’s muscle memory; I could, in fact, still do a swingout. And not only that, but I could enjoy my favorite dance again. I could swingout, swivel, and smile without guilt, and know that it was okay because that’s what my mom would have wanted for me: to keep dancing, because a love for dance is one of the greatest things we had in common.
I had been without Lindy Hop – my outlet, my passion, the one thing in life that makes me feel the most alive – for two months. I will always remember how during that first dance, I was finally able to release all my feelings of anger, sadness, and death because I was doing something that brought me happiness. And I will always remember how that first dance, that moment, brought me back to life again.