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Dancing blind … and backwards

Closing my eyes opens up new worlds

I like to do social dancing (where one person leads the dance and the other person follows), and I like to do it, when possible, with my eyes closed. Today, I went to a new-favorite dance of mine: the fais do-do (I think that’s what they call it), a 4-hour zydeco and cajun dance jam that closes out Buffalo Jambalaya.

Most leads are flattered when I ask them if it’s OK if I close my eyes while we dance. They then have to take full responsibility for the lead (which is their job anyway), but they also become hyper-aware when they know my eyes are closed. And, in turn, I get to respond more fully to their lead (which is my job anyway), and I find that it’s just easier to relax and be fluid when my eyes are closed.

Today, I was a bit nervous and uncomfortable when I first started to dance. See, this is only my second year attending this particular event, and I don’t know the dance floor the way I know some of my regular dance spots. And it’s a really big floor.

In my initial discomfort, I was less responsive to my partner … more protective and tense instead. But the “dancing blind thing” only works when I trust my partner 100% to lead. So, at the moment I was most wanting to close in and not trust him was when I had to do just the opposite to be successful. And to have fun.

So I took a deep breath, made a decision and got fluid, fast. And had fun.

I like it when my perspective changes and when I see things differently. Like today when the only way I was going to feel safe in a new environment was to let my partner lead and to do my job to follow. Dancing blind is something I do for fun … and for the experience of changing my perspective, intentionally. I recommend it.

But only, of course, if you’re a follow. 😉


PS – The “dancing backwards” reference is specific to Cajun dancing. Most of a woman’s moves in Cajun dancing are done moving backwards. It’s a surprising workout on the legs.

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