Last night, I went to one of the little free concerts that the park district puts on every week in the summer. It was the Local Favorite — and they played lots of covers of songs everyone knows — summer time favorites like sweet caroline and a beatles medley.
There were plenty of kids there — and naturally, many of them decided to make the grass right in front of the band into a stage for dancing. As they twirl and dip and perform the occasional cartwheel …. waving to their parents and to anyone else who might be watching them … the audience loves it. The parents think they’re the best dancers in the world. Others think of how great it is to be a kid again, remembering the ease with which one used to be able to toss away the cares of the world and dance as if no one’s watching you. There’s just something about a 7-year-old dancing freely that makes you smile and remember your own childhood.
And then there’s always at least one adult in the crowd …. like this lovely lady:
[you can see her in the distance … wearing all black and a hat]
one that casts aside convention and dares to dance the night away in front of the crowd. She isn’t particularly talented in dance — at least not that she’s showing, but she doesn’t let that slow her down at all. Reactions are different. The crowd notices her. They snicker. They laugh.
the message from this:
children dancing = cute, carefree, youthful, innocent
adult dancing = creepy, weird, laughable
Confession: I was totally in the laughing group right along with the crowd.
As I drove home, I wonder how strange life really is. All the encouragement that we give to children and youth — be creative, express yourself freely, be a kid, go out and dance …. and then at a certain age … we squash all of that. At a certain age, we’re supposed to be grown up and dignified and we have somehow developed the sense that we are better than those others who are obviously on some alternative medicine because that is the only way to excuse the dancing that is transpiring in front of us.
How dare we.
My deepest apologies to the lady dancing at the park last evening — keep on rocking, my friend. You inspire creativity and expression. Thank you for keeping it when the rest of us suppress our own far too often.