Recently, I had a chance to watch “Shall we dance Mr. Clark?” It was quite a while after the image of Mr. Gere, in a sleek and well fitting tuxedo, a solitary long stemmed red rose in hand and eyes that said it all, disappeared from my mind that I could breathe again. As the got blood flowing into my neurons again, my brain began unscrambling the messages that I was sending. I realized I was thinking, actually. (Like Pooh bear on a blustery day)
Mr. Clark’s life had become routine: a simple but disoriented and empty life as a faithful husband and father, a brilliant and overworked lawyer, a man without any wish or passion. During a poignant moment in the movie, Mr. Clark tells the missus that dancing makes him happy and that this derived happiness has filled the space occupied earlier by something monotonous. It has nothing to do with Mrs. Clark really, he insists and the fact that he loves her truly is displayed through their slow dance in the shop.
Just as anyone can choose to join in at a dance or stand by the wall simply to watch, the decision to seek a life of meaning, passion, and emotion is also a choice. I had no idea how well I could identify with this feeling or make this choice for myself in a small way.
After 7 years of hard core gymming, I recently included aerobics in my routine. And guess what, I began liking it as much as pumping iron. My tryst started with apprehension about the instructor’s capabilities and ended with awe at how they conjure up the kind of heart stopping routines they make us do. Over time, I realized that every instructor has her (Yes, its always her. Ever know of a ‘him’ aerobic instructor?)own style in which she conducts the classes, includes warm up exercises, intense CV workouts and the floor reps. So it happened, we got a new instructor for the class. What makes M different is this amazing method she uses to help us cool down.
The music is switched, slow beats and soulful words fill the air. She executes a dance step and indicates that we follow. I watch keenly…..the head falls to one side, the hands sway in rhythm with the torso, very chiffonesque and it’s the eyes..the eyes that betray a passion. I could watch all day..but a sharp glance from her makes me skip a little. After all, I am not to this manner born, so a few pathetic attempts to sway, follow. Amused, she tells me that my dancing feats will be her best kept secrets. What happens in class stays there. Rhythm is never the problem for that I can execute with perfection. It is that swan like grace and the need to dance without inhibitions that I fall short on.
As classes progress, I see less and watch more. Her passion is catching. I find myself trying to mimic her movements. (Yeah, it’s a big thing with me to be able to do THAT. My friends say doing a deck of 500 pushups would be easier for me than this. Well, each to his own.) It no longer bothers me if I am doing alright or I’m still a hopelessly lost cause.
All I want to do is dance and feel the rhythm divine. And it makes me happy with a capital H. Amen!
PS: Title borrowed from a friend’s blog of the same name. Thought it is very apt here!