Well damn! It’s been a week short of six months. I’ve been point-adapting and haven’t succumbed to home sickness. Until about two hours ago.
Some of my loyal readers and good friends know I love dancing, and that Alex and I danced as often as three or four times a week back in the states. On coming to Zambia I’ve had to go cold turkey. Sure I throw in a ballroom or salsa lesson here and there. I teach and talk about connection and communication. Heck, I’m working on putting together a GAD (gender and development) workshop for youth, teaching young boys and girls about respect, communication, gender roles and preconceptions and life through dance. But those aren’t a substitute for stepping onto a dance floor with a beautiful dance partner and just flowing with the music. The reward is different. When you step into the instructor’s shoes you leave behind that raw, improvisational nature of social dancing with a partner who’s on the same page … Man. I miss that.
So today my host brought back a bootleg Chinese DVD and in hushed but excited tones, put it in the clinic’s DVD player. Up started Love ‘n Dancing, a film about the US Open Swing Competition, love, and WCS (West Coast Swing). Now it’s always fun to watch a dance movie, but it’s killer to recognize some of the instructors, know some of the moves, hear and feel the actors dance, and not be able to do it yourself. I’d say torturous is a good description.
Now I know longing for a dance studio, a couple social partners and a sound system might not qualify as home sickness but, for that one hour thirty eight minutes I couldn’t help but think about how long it was ’till I’d be back in the states where I could dance and how I could make it come sooner.
Of course when the credits rolled the feelings passed and it was back to the here and now but obviously, since I’m writing this, the feelings lingered. At least a shadow did. I threw some bachata on with my little goal-zero rockout speakers amped way up, did some warm ups, and danced in the rain. I practiced some Zambian dancing – Go figure – it’s a little like bachata involving some crazy sexy hips. A big smile, passion, and sexuality. Then I switched gears. Did some pull ups and am writing you this blog. Weird huh?
I guess it’s just a matter of perspective. Dancing is a release and one I’m missing but am slowly changing. Instead of social dancing and free expression, now I’m altering it to a process of teaching and personal expression. It’s a little weird to dance alone, but it feels a lot better than not dancin’ at all. The kids are amazingly cute when they imitate my steps and body movements and that is always uplifting.