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Life As A Dance

By Kellie Purcill

At this time of year in Australia, all kids are back in school after Summer holidays, the mad dash of organising stationery lists, uniforms, classes and text books has faded to a frustration tinged memory, and routines are getting re- or newly established.

I’m rubbish with routines. Sure, my household has a definite dance number when it comes to our habits and daily to-do lists, which on any given day we sway to, boot scoot through or krump over, but my personal, well-rehearsed daily number is an interpretive dance called “Put the biggest fires out first, quick!” This spectacular requires stomping, scurrying, whirlwind styled pirouettes, frequent tongue biting or forehead slapping at remembering the bits I just forgot, and quite often the grand finale is me tripping over and slamming to a tangled, wince-inducing stop.

I need to learn a new dance. Some bluesy little number to shimmy around my kitchen to, a jazzy routine to bop along to at the traffic lights. New steps, exciting dips and maybe the odd Charleston thrown into the mix.

Unfortunately, I don’t think adding new routines are the answer. Lately, I feel a pull to slow down, to give up the ideal of perfect form and sparkly leotards, and let the music fill me. (Grace, form and internal melodies I’d like, leotards I will cheerfully bury or set fire to – maybe both in quick succession.) I’ve realised that while I have been spinning like a Cossack, trying to get most of the needed things done, the music can still be changed, an intermission announced to let my world stop twirling, and the next song require nothing but a silky sway.

I’m worried I can’t work out how to slow down. Sometimes I simply don’t see options that would have me relax, or at least catch my breath. Too often I’m so determined to continue in the styling and speed which I started the choreography that I’ve missed recognising that the stage has changed, I’ve lost a shoe and there are people willing and able to teach me the steps, or encourage my efforts.

Sorry Led Zep, but the song doesn’t remain the same. The tune changes, the dances evolve, the tempo slows or increases. I’m just hoping my ears, and my feet, recognise the tune, and follow it.

If your daily life/routines were a dance, what would it be called? What style of dance are you currently in? How do you change gears, to either slow or speed up? Do you get impressions that the tempo of your life needs to change? Do you pay attention to them? How do you add them to the dance of your hours, days and life?


About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

6 thoughts on “Life As A Dance”

  1. Love this Kel.

    Like so many people I spent the first several years of my adulthood stuck in the rhythms of my teenage years. Now, I've discovered a whole new world of music and my dance is happier and lighter.

  2. Life rhythm and music is something I've been thinking of a lot lately, especially since I returned to piano lessons after a 24 year absence. All of a sudden I see the wisdom in learning and practicing scales, in learning those cadences, in learning the fingering instead of playing the pieces, the scales differently each time and hoping for the best. My rhythm is better, more even, when I know where my fingers are headed. The same is true in my life, not that I know where I am going (because I've long ago given up the naivete, audacity to believe that I have any clue about the future) necessarily, but that I know the fingering, the choices with which to weave through whatever life brings–living after the manner of happiness, as it were (I don't know how to do links, but go see Stephanie at Diapers and Divinity's post about 2 Ne 5 from yesterday). When I get my life fingering right, my dancing is more assured, more centered, more confident. I know where my feet are going.

  3. Kelly – this is a wonderful analogy. I love the way you tackle it. Favorite line: "I’m rubbish with routines."

    The dance at our house is definitely fast paced. I'm often too bent on getting through it, maintaining tempo. I'd love to slow it down to an easy waltz if I could. But most days necessity requires me to keep hopping. What you wrote about here filters in rather nicely with my post for Thursday – about order as a base for freedom. Freedom to make music or dance however you wish.

    I love your idea of feeling out the right dance for each season of our life, being open to change. You are so wise and good. xo

  4. I'm laughing at the burning sparkly leotards part. And at the part where the stage changed and you still kept at it, not realizing you had lost a shoe. This image was So descriptive and I'm afraid I've been that "one shoe off" clueless gal before.


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