I made a list of intentions.
Number one: Keep cynicism away. It kills the soul.
Number two: No judgemental attitudes. They squash openness.
Number three: Seek out only people who are brave enough to express the truth.
Number four: Find kind, pure hearted, joyful people to be in community with.
I saw an advertisement for a Lindy Hop class in the window of a bar on my way home one day. Normally, I wouldn’t want to leave my house for something that started at 8:30, but I was determined to find community. I watched a video on the Facebook page for the swing class and thought, “This is a no judgment scene, a happy place.” So I went.
As soon as I entered the lobby of the dance hall, I heard music from the 1930’s. It was just the perfect kind of loud–enveloping. There were little groups of people waiting in the corridor for the advanced class to finish up. I could overhear conversations about being nervous, first time, right shoes and etc. I noticed that I was dressed like most of the women my age, whew, I fit in–jeans and sneakers and a lightweight tunic-type tee.
We started in a circle, all forty-five of us, and followed the instructor as she playfully led us through basic movements. Uproarious laughter ensued as we attempted to imitate each new step. Between the music playing and the different accents, I had trouble understanding people when they spoke to me. But we had a shared feeling, which was evident through massive smiles. We divided into followers and leaders and changed partners every few minutes. I danced with thirty-year-old men and seventy-five-year-old women. We were all together. It was a common cause, a chance to be gleeful and full of life–a moment to be free. We all felt it. We were in joyful community, creating a shared generosity of spirit.