It's More Than a Dance

Do you ever feel like you are the “new one” in a group? Perhaps you are looking for other people with similar passions or ideas and yet you come up empty. At the end of the day, we all need people in our lives so we can celebrate together and connect on a regular basis. The buzzword is “community” and it’s a real game changer!

I know, I have recently moved to a new city and as I navigate through this transition, one of the things I am trying to do is make sure I continue with a passion of mine which is dance. I’m talking about swing dance, ballroom dance, country dance, I just love to dance! There was a period of time that I had lost my passion and I didn’t dance at all. Now, I am making sure I don’t allow that to happen again.

Before this recent move, I became part of a dance community and it took time to build. Here’s the funny thing about community, it usually happens as a result of first getting engaged in a passion or interest. You see, when I started dancing again, I was just looking to dance. I kept showing up and then people included me in events outside of dance! We hung out, we helped each other, (they helped me move), we learned together, we encouraged each other, and, of course, we danced.

When I moved it was very difficult to leave it behind. These were my people.

I knew what it would take to create that kind of community again, and to be honest, it’s hard to wait and bide my time. Along with being patient, add to it feeling uncomfortable, lots of sitting, feeling like an outsider, trying to navigate the dynamics of a new group of people and the pain of not being able to dance when you hear really good music.  Yet, I continue to show up.

Isn’t this the same with any new transition? A change of locations? Change of jobs?

I have only become a part of my newest community for a few months, but we have been hit hard as a group.  First, we lost an amazing woman with her sudden passing. She was the one who made sure people felt welcomed when they showed up. She talked to people, I mean really talked to them. She organized an amazing monthly event. She helped to build a very close community and she was a beautiful dancer. She brought a sense of peace and calm to a room when she was in it, impacting so many people and I was one of them.

As we continue to mourn her passing, another amazing woman is suddenly facing serious health issues. She too, is a connector of people, a “get ‘er done” kind of woman, an organizer of events and brings fun with her wherever she goes.  She loves this community and wants everyone else to enjoy it as well.

Both of these women simply love bringing people and dance together. I have not only been able to witness the fruit of their efforts but have experienced it firsthand.

You see, when it comes to a loss or a traumatic situation, we all respond differently. That’s because we are all different and our relationships and needs are different. But when the unexpected happens, people pull together. They want to help.

Some people want to jump in and start doing things.

Some will cook, clean, mow yards, or organize events.

Some will wait in the background, praying, or waiting for an opportunity to do something.

Others will come and sit alongside to listen, cry and just be with the loved ones.

All of this is needed and necessary. However, when your community is not a traditional blood-family, it can be and feel awkward. We ask: Am I overstepping or intruding? What are the boundaries or guidelines?

At the end of the day, even if we are not a family or our time together has been brief, we have learned to care for and about each other because we share a common passion. Bonds are formed, community is created and when one of our own is hurting, we rally, each in their own way.

But dance continues, as does life.  And as this community limps along, we are also pulling together to support each other as we figure out what is the next step.

So, when I say I am going dancing, please know it is so much more than a dance.

It is community.