‘I wanna do a dance for you …’

More than a week since my last post, but for good reason: I was on vacation. Seven glorious days on Waikiki Beach. Of course there was no flamenco in sight, but I did see some lovely polynesian dancers.

A friend of mine once told me that the ladies in her husband’s family, which is of Pacific-island descent, liked to give the gift of dance for all occasions. Wedding? “I wanna do a dance for you.” Baby shower? “I wanna do a dance for you.” Birthday? “Happy birthday … I wanna do a dance for you.” I think I’ve even witnessed this. I guess it works in their culture. Styles of polynesian dance like hula are very soft, friendly and done with a welcoming smile; they’re more like an animated greeting card than, say, flamenco. Which got me thinking …

What if I started doing this? What would people say if I said with a straight face, “I wanna do a dance for you”? Would they stare blankly? Would they laugh? Would they feel obliged to sit through it? And how ridiculous would it be if I actually did it? I can just see myself busting out my solea por buleria, complete with angry-gypsy face, stomping wildly around my victim. My limited flamenco skills would make the spectacle even more absurd and thus, more awesome.

My next social experiment? Perhaps.

I appreciate all types of dance, especially those that tell the story of a people. I enjoyed the beauty of the island dancers, with their hips like rolling oceans and wave-mimicking hands. It’s very soothing to watch. Still, I couldn’t wait to get back to class, to the type of dance that allows me to tell my own story.

And now, I wanna do a dance for you …

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