All I Want to Do Is Dance

So why don't I do the one thing I love more than anything else in the world?

Twenty-five years ago, if you'd given me a dark bar, a cover band and a lot of pink wine? I was set. I wasn't there to get drunk or pick up dudes. OK, I totally was. But those were just an afterthought. What I was really there for was the dancing. All I wanted to do was dance.

And I'm not even any good at it. I promise you, I'm no John Travolta. (And I realize what's sad is that my example of a good dancer is John Travolta. It's like I stopped paying attention to anything current after 1979.)

So, OK, I'm no Ginger Rogers, but oh, how I loved going out dancing with my friends. It was the late '80s, and we found bands every night. What was better than leaving a trail of your white zinfandel calories in the dust because you're dancing so hard to the Violent Femmes or New Order?

Nothing, that's what.

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I found out that my grandmother also loved to dance, although where she found the time with her passel of children, I'll never know. I assume she cut a rug mostly at wedding receptions, but the point is, knowing she loved to dance just seems right. Like it's in our bones. Our white-chick, Midwestern bones.

Madonna is from my neck of the woods, and I realize she's maybe not the greatest dancer, but it's my only white, Midwestern-dancey-type-girl defense. I'm just saying, some Midwestern girls can get jiggy wid it. Sort of.

Eventually, I got a real job and got married, and bustin' a move on, say, a Wednesday night became a thing of the past. Once the real world started and the dancing stopped, I gained 10 pounds. And now, the only time I dance is in my room, when a good song comes on my iTunes. Or, like my grandmother, at a wedding reception. And while my joints get mad at me at first, as soon as I get through that first song, I'm back. Dancing and I get back together like we've never been apart.

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What's that thing that you loved more than anything else in the world? Did you ride your bike all over yonder? Your horse? (OK, rich girl.) Was it drawing? Did you just love getting on the phone with your friends and giggling until your cheeks hurt?

So why the hell aren't you doing it anymore? Why do we let real life get in the way?

Here's my question: What is real life? Is it going from one to another of life's made-up obligations? Do people really need to schlep their kids to soccer every weekend? Do you really need to check in with work email every night? Would it be the end of the world if you didn't watch "Bachelor in Paradise"?

Or is real life more about doing the stuff we love? Stuff that's in our bones? What if we stopped trying to pass the time and got back into that one thing that made time stop?

What if I just gave myself one hour a week to dance again? Will I be fired? Will my boyfriend dump me? (OK, maybe—if he saw how I dance.)

I just Googled "dance classes for adults" in my town, and found out I can take tap on Mondays, or salsa on Tuesdays. I'm not Joel Grey (see above reference to 1979), but I'm so willing to be Rita Moreno. A Midwestern Rita Moreno. Caliente!

I cannot wait to be the white old lady at salsa! Ima be so hot, you'll wanna dip your chip in me.

Tags: aging

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