Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To Dream and then....... to Dance.

The dream begins.... a little girl's jewelry box opens and in it a small ballerina with a white tulle tutu turns round and round as the music plays. The music slows and so does the ballerina until both come to a complete stop. It's bedtime so reluctantly the top is closed and the ballerina hides within her box- waiting, hoping for someone to open the box again.

Months ago I had a dream. It happened while I was awake (I believe we refer to those as ideas- but they are dreams, just the same) at a dance studio, while watching girls of all shapes and sizes pass me in their cute dance outfits. Suddenly I envisioned taking photographs of girls in dance costumes- particularly tutus- outside in fields or amongst trees, particularly in the fall colors. I wrote the dream down in my notebook, for I have found dreams are worth making note of, especially since my mind can quickly forget even that which seems inspirational at any given moment.

Over the summer I realized I had the perfect subjects living under my very roof- my three daughters- Amber, Rebekah, and Lisa-Noel. I ordered tutus and leotards and was pleasantly surprised to finds my girls liked the idea and were willing to be my models. Considering Bekah and Lisa-Noel are teenagers, I viewed this as a major victory. On three separate days I photographed them. The locations were beautiful and as can be seen in the photos above, the results were true to my original dream.

Watching a real ballerina dance is awe-inspiring- the beautiful lines of her neck and arms as they curve and align themselves with her body; the awkward yet completely graceful position of her feet as she dances en pointe; the sublime connection between the male and female partners, him lifting her effortlessly as they glide across the floor in one smooth continuous movement, two bodies as one.

Obviously I was not meant to dance ballet. Thankfully there are many other forms of dance. Is it possible to dance with an aging body, one which was not born graceful to begin with? Being a somewhat responsible adult for so long had buried the dreams of my youth, those dreams which began in my earliest days when the impossible seemed possible. Enter the real world- which for me began very young- and the little girl who believed she could dance even with two left feet closed the lid down tight, told the music to stop, and went so far as to lock the box up tight with a key she threw away. End of dream story.... or maybe not.

Enter middle age and the fast approach of my 50th birthday next May and that word DANCE- associated with thoughts such as "cut loose", "let go", and "just do it" began to create a musical rhythm in my heart. Terry and I talked about having a dance party for my birthday but the music kept getting louder and the little ballerina within me wanted out sooner.

About three years ago after Terry remodeled our family room I went to Home Depot to purchase a white Christmas tree for it. When I brought the box home and began opening it I was surprised to find I had accidentally picked up the "silver penny" tree instead. Rather than take it back I decided to embrace this glitzy tree, making it even glitzier by adding bright ornaments and white lights. Someone- I'm not sure who- began referring to our tree as "the disco tree". It definitely fit.

As Bekah and Lisa were getting the tree out a few weeks ago a brilliant idea(dream) formed in my head. Why not have a disco dance party in front of the disco tree? I mentioned it to the girls who immediately had expressions of embarrassment on their faces at the mere suggestion of such middle age craziness. This spurred me on further. The dream was born and I was determined to see it through.... and to dance!

So on December 29th, New Year's Eve eve, I am inviting family and friends over to dance. It will not be limited to just seventies music, although shaking my booty to Staying Alive sounds pretty cool. Who knows- nothing will be off limits, musically speaking- MJ, JT, or even Enrique!

At the holidays I feel more child-like than ever. As that little ballerina within me has the freedom to dance- and the wonder of her dancing escapes and invades my soul- I feel joy. I choose to listen, to respond, and to dance. Life is too short not to make the most of the moments I'm given.

Find a way to dance this holiday season. Determine to dream and dance into the New Year. I know I will. And if you live in our area you are welcome to join me for my disco tree dance!

Blessings to you and yours,



Christa said...

Aunt Danese,

I love reading your blog! Although I will not be there to see you shake your tailfeathers to "Staying Alive", I have some cousins who I would LOVE to take pictures of that moment and send them to me! I havent been in the happiest mood with the season due to things happening in my life but reading this has inspired me to just have fun this weekend.

Love and miss you all <3


Christa said...

P.S. - The girls look wonderful in the tutus!

Robin Tolbert said...

Danese.....I send crushing hugs and many smiles. When will you bring Terry to Texas? We would love that! Toujours, Robin

RTS Bus Girl said...

Danese!!!! Those are beautiful photos!!! You're girls are beautiful!!! And I am so excited to learn so much more about you through this blog!!! So incredibly glad to have met you :)