Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NOSTALGiA: SOOTHES MY SOUL



It was the ‘80’s, and my parents were newly married and young— younger than I am now as I dance with carefree irreverence through the nightclubs of Hollywood, flanked by equally unattached and unaffected friends. My poor parents could not get me to stop crying day and night, until one early morning, around the time that they could have been straggling in bleary-eyed from the disco without a baby to calm, Daddy turned Guns’N’Roses on at full volume to counter my cries, and he danced me, exhausted, around the living room. The electricity of Slash’s guitar seemed to charge the room, and suddenly, miraculously, its ephemeral wails began to quiet my own infant wailing. I was soothed in transfixed attention to the sound. Axel Rose’s voice reached through the speakers, “She’s got eyes of the bluest sky/ And if they thought of rain/ I’d hate to look into those eyes/ And see an ounce of pain…” Daddy held me, dancing sleeplessly, deliriously disbelieving my supernatural calm, and he sang to me, “Oh sweet child o' mine…” This was my first experience with rock’n’roll, and the ethereal healing power of dance.

Three years later, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey caused a sensation in their new movie about dance. I was repeatedly exposed to the film Dirty Dancing during my developmental toddler years. I stood in front of the TV, copying the movements, and Daddy practiced the now-famous lift with me… yes, I had the time of my life. I feel as though this contributes greatly to the explanation for my dichotomous tendency as an adult to be inherently reserved and innately ladylike in my manner until music with bass that reverberates in my core takes hold. Onlookers acquainted with only the former side of my personality are shocked at the sudden inhibition of my hips, but there is nothing intentional or sexual about them. My body is programmed to respond to a beat, my soul is purely that of a dancer, as it has been my whole life.

Just as I did in infancy, I truly do love rock’n’roll. It truly does soothe my soul. And I have my young parents to thank, for not being unattached and unaffected, for foregoing the throbbing nightclubs of Hollywood and dancing their baby girl in their little living room instead.


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