(Eleventh of a series)
“… And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. —Ascribed to Friedrich Nietzsche
CARE to dance?
Most people have rhythm embedded in their DNA. Music moves them emotionally and physically. Music is a powerful gravity-defying force that can speak to the soul.
Watch when people listen to an upbeat Michael Jackson tune or even a Strauss waltz piece and before long, they will transform any empty space into a dance floor, dancing by themselves, or even trip the light fantastic if they are lucky enough to be with someone who shares their love for music and dancing.
Test yourself if you have rhythm in you. See if a few strains of any kind of music move you emotionally and get you busting a few moves yourself.
Want to see real honest to goodness dancing? Check out the video on youtube titled “Old movie stars dance to Uptown Funk” sang by Bruno Mars. It is this wonderfully edited and seamlessly spliced YouTube video of the Hollywood stars of a past golden era, exhibiting real talent in dancing. I just love watching the mixing of dance talent and current modern beat. The video editor, whoever he or she may be, deserves praise. Kudos!
Fred Astaire, in my opinion, is beyond compare. There will never be another Astaire on earth who can take to the dance floor and make it look so easy. Sigh … The music he danced to seemed welded into his bones. But such perfection in movement didn’t come without a price. He must have practiced until his bones and muscles at the end of each rehearsal day cried out for mercy. He must have burned out so much energy that accounted for his lean physique and lightness of feet.
But we don’t’ have to be that great of a dancer to enjoy the music and move to its beat. Dancing is exhilarating. If you want real justification to ‘bust a move’ as they say, dancing is real good exercise and is fun! Exercise, as you probably know, is one of only 2 ways (laughter being the other one) that the body naturally produces endorphin — that feel-good, healthy hormone that is still by far, the best medicine for both body and spirit. We all have it in us and is absolutely free.
So go ahead, even if you have two left feet, and tend to step on your partner’s feet when dancing. Shed your inhibitions and DANCE! Let the music move you. With dedicated repetition and practice, you might even surprise yourself one day with a dance routine.
Cut back the time spent online. We fritter away much of our time browsing and imbibing toxic things from the internet that wear away and erode the joy of our souls during our time here on earth. Get off your backside and listen to music that resonates with your body as you cook, clean your car, clean out the garage or do other mind numbing chores.
If all else fails, start humming as you work. My cousin, who has been a dentist for decades and is still active professionally in her early eighties, hums as she works on her patients’ mouths. She enjoys what she does and it shows. The music pours out of her. When her husband was alive, they would hit the dance floor at parties whenever they could.
Music makes things easier as the arduous tasks get done. If you do mental work like writing or analysis that needs intense focus and you tend to get easily distracted, listen to soft, unobtrusive instrumental music so the words don’t get in the way. On hot summer nights when sleep is elusive and the air conditioning is busted, listen and fall asleep to the sounds of gentle rain on your smartphone. It’s hypnotic. This beats having to drink those dangerous sleep aids with horrid side effects.
Not all music soothes the soul though. Choose wisely. There is a smorgasbord of music to choose from and like anything else, our choices determine the outcome. It is no wonder that the younger generations who grew up listening to that so-called music genre of troubling, raspy, jagged sounds that focus on the seedy side of life such as blood, sex, violence, gang culture and others have strayed so far away from what is good.
It was said that there were celestial strains of music by a host of angels floating above the stable in Bethlehem at the time Christ was born more than two thousand years ago. My wild guess is it may have been musical strains of Handel’s “Messiah.”
Was there music in the Garden of Eden? Perhaps yes before sin came to be and Eden went dank and dark. And if you are living and trying to get to heaven, you may wonder if there is going to be music and dancing there as well?
If lightness of being and freedom from the stranglehold of gravity and earthly concerns characterize life beyond death, the answer is probably a big resounding YES.
So while alive and your body and limbs are functional, dance with sheer abandon as you let good music move you. It is purely speculative but I have a gut feeling there is going to be a lot of dancing on an immense celestial dance floor as you bust your heavenly moves on a conga line.
Stand aside, Fred. You’ve got some serious competition up there.
Next week: Back to yet another idea to consider for The Bucket List …
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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org