no big deal: Dance class is cancelled this week. BIG DEAL: Seven months without a twirl. In March the mandate for distancing seemed temporary, but that temporary is turning into a growing sense of loss. Little did I know that my biggest passion would slip away.

I often tell the voice in my head to “shut up.” Not being able to dance seems so trivial when you think about how the pandemic has changed lives. The fallout has touched everyone in some way, and whining about dance is just feeling sorry for myself. It’s going to be while before it’s safe to embrace a partner on the dance floor again. It could be a couple of years until I get to use the section of my closet devoted to the cause: twirly skirts and dresses, petticoats, assorted bling with jewelry to match, RED shoes, bandaids for blisters and breath mints.

dancing brings joy

Tom T. and me, feeling the joy!

This is how desperate I am now. My husband does not dance. So when he leaves the house I run to Pandora, find something danceable, and swing around my little kitchen floor with an imaginery partner. Any dance will do. Waltz, Swing, ChaCha, Nightclub Two Step, Salsa, Rumba… freestyle. I am not fussy. Here’s a fun snapshot of an impromptu moment. I bumped into my friend, Tom Trimbath, at a little art gallery on Whidbey Island and suddenly a Waltz was calling to us from the overhead! Fun.

The calendar is sorely missing those dance classes every Wed. night. And the Fri. night dance was a special treat because there were Tootsie Rolls in the candy dish just inside the door. What a DJ! I not only miss dancing, I miss the music and the smiles of my dance friends. Sitting in the backyard 6’ apart just isn’t the same!

Loss Comes in all Shapes and Sizes. Dancing is One of Them.

The subject of loss and grief generally refers to the death of a loved one. But the experience of loss, no matter how small in comparison, is similar. Emotions aren’t as raw, but the sadness and eventual acceptance is real. Loss comes in all shapes and sizes, all with varying degrees of heartache. Losing dance might seem small on the scale, but it did keep the joy alive in me and that IS important.

Loss of dancing brings sadnessIt’s been seven years since I wrote Emerging from the Heartache of Loss. I don’t remember dance being mentioned, but I found this on pg 50: “Hope is something to grab on to until time has had a chance to do its work. Hope eases the present and looks to the future. Difficult circumstances are more bearable if we know that tomorrow will be better. Believing in our heart of hearts that hard times will eventually pass buoys your mood when the bottom falls out.”

I’m lucky in many other ways and I’m grateful, but the loss of this joyful experience just keeps sneaking into my days. Rearing its ugly head. Giving dance up seems unthinkable, but I’m on the lookout in case something else catches my eye… and my heart.