Happy May Day. On May first, it is traditional to welcome spring and dance around a Maypole. The Maypole dance is a ceremonial folk dance performed around a tall pole garlanded with greenery or flowers and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns by the dancers. Such dances are survivals of ancient dances around a living tree as part of spring rites to ensure fertility.
“Do you dance with your family in the kitchen or yard or anywhere? Do you get to see your parents dance?” These two questions I often ask of my piano students. I almost always know the answer to my questions. In families where dancing is a normal kitchen/household fun-silly-creative-beautiful activity and where kids can see their parents swinging around the kitchen, children play with precise rhythm. When I get a quizzical “Are you crazy?” look, the students generally have terrible rhythm and don’t engage in dancing activities.
Dancing not only instils good rhythm, I believe it instils a lovely sense of body coordination, an informal stretching of the fascia of the body which results in an increase in health. And informal dancing in the home usually brings a sense of joy and playfulness and hopefully respect.
Early on my mother danced in the kitchen with me, she stopped dancing when we moved from a small town to a farming community where she felt isolated, became depressed and started her decline in health. Thankfully she still encouraged me to stretch my wings, my creativity and my sense of fun with dancing anywhere in our home and yard that I wanted. While my daughter Laurie lived with me, we danced daily with a sense of joy. And even though I live alone, I still dance and stretch often through the day to maintain flexibility and health. I believe it adds to my Super-Aging and to your Super-Aging!
Happy Dancing Every Day!