Today’s Christmas song is ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. This an American popular Christmas song that was first released by Bobby Helms in1957.
Whoever we are or wherever we come from, the vast majority of us won’t mind doing a ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ at the height of the festive season, whether it be at the work’s office party, in some dance hall or disco or even in one’s lounge after a few festive drinks. Nobody cares if you dance well, so long as you dance!
I have always loved both song and dance. Dancing allows you to express a wide variety of emotions. The way you dance can express happiness, excitement, and passion. What is so wonderful about dancing is that it helps you to relieve stress and to fully centre yourself in the present moment. Had I been a teenager today in the current pandemic virus lockdown and restrictions and not been able to visit the local dance hall, I would have been heartbroken.
One of the very first poems I learned at school as a child was ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ by Edward Lear and the line from the poem which most stuck in my memory was “Hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.” I have always considered dance to be the hidden language of the soul. It reveals our emotions like pleasure, excitement, and sheer exuberance. All the best dancers are those who show passion in their step and movement.
My feet were unable to do what they were supposed to do after a traffic accident as an 11-year-old left me unable to walk for almost three years. Whilst walking had always been their prime purpose, since the age of nine years, dancing had always been their hobby. I never knew if it was the challenge of the correct footwork that made me interested in learning to dance at a young age or the mere fact that I had discovered the pleasure of placing my arms around the waist of a bonny girl as we glided around the floor? Either way, as soon as I recovered the ability to walk again, there was no keeping me away from the dance hall floor.
In my romantic teenage years, I very much started to appreciate the movement of dance as being "a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.” as George Bernard Shaw once described it. I would go dancing three times weekly in the era of Rock and Roll but I must admit that my dancing was usually the prelude to getting an attractive young woman to walk home at the end of the night. Ever since the 1920s onwards, the dance hall became the happy hunting ground for most meetings between future wives and husbands, and during the 1950s and 60s, both sexes came to appreciate that one of the few places where one was most likely to find love and marriage was ‘across the dance floor’.
Dance and song have always been, and will always remain an important part of my life. Indeed, one of the things I miss doing today is dancing over the past eight years. My severe arthritis and the onset of several cancers have affected the agility and the extent of my movement. Whatever my absence of leg movement is now though, I will never stop tapping my feet to the sound and rhythm of a good beat.
And for all you out there who excuse yourself from the pleasure of dancing by saying, “I can’t dance" or " I could never dance" or "I’ve two left feet!” I would simply say one thing: “If there is nothing in your life to dance about, then for God’s sake, find a reason to take up singing”.
Love and peace