I beg your indulgence as I pay tribute to my favorite dancer ever, Gene Kelly. His combination of grace, athleticism, humor and downright joy gave me (still gives me) many hours of pleasure and inspiration. Years ago, when I was filling out a questionnaire at a seminar, one of the questions was “If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?” I was still dancing at the time, and Gene Kelly was the first name that popped into my head. Of course, in my fantasy, lunch would have been followed by dancing with the “Marlon Brando of Screen Dance”.
Gene Kelly would have been 100 years old today, and, thanks to the magic of film, his dancing will continue to inspire generations to come. I never tire of watching the title number from Singin’ in the Rain. When it’s over…well, the lyrics say it all: “What a glorious feeling—I’m happy again!”
So…who inspires you? Do you need a little dose of that energy today? If it’s a musician/singer, listen to his/her/their music. If it’s an author, make a cup of coffee and spend some time with his/her words. Take it in, soak it up, let it fill you. Then go out and inspire someone else with your own brand of awesomeness. :)
I don’t know what year it was when my brother introduced me to Marc Cohn and “Walking in Memphis”, but the song grabbed me by the soul the very first time I heard it. I’ve listened to it countless times since and never tire of it. I’ve even used it for big, sweeping, leap combinations in modern dance classes.
Every time I hear the first few piano notes, my mouth stretches into an involuntary smile, my eyes crinkling and my heart lifting in recognition of an old, well-loved friend. Cohn’s voice and the lyrics and the rolling rhythm and the piano playing all come together in some sort of magical, alchemical mix that never fails to take me to my happy place.
The tune that soothes your spirit may be different from the one that eases mine, but whatever music is balm to your soul, be sure to give yourself the gift of taking the time to listen and enjoy and absorb the healing and renewal that it offers. For me, this one is always a sure thing; I hope you enjoy it, too.
Cheyenne came to live with us when she was a year old. This sweet little dust-mop terrier mutt (all 12 pounds of her) belonged to my husband’s sister’s family, and we’d met and fallen in love with her one weekend when we were visiting his parents. As we were leaving, we even joked to my sister-in-law, “If you ever want to get rid of this dog, let us know.” A month later, Betsy called, saying they couldn’t take her with them to their new home, so it was meant to be. Continue reading
I know I’m a little biased, having danced for a living for a big chunk of my adult life, but I’ve always thought that the world would be a happier, more peaceful place if everybody danced. It doesn’t matter what kind of dance—swing dance, square dance, hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz—or how “good” you are, there’s a place you go when the music takes over your body. I’ve touched that place, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before or since….joy, pure and simple.
When the inner dancer and the outer dancer become one, dancing can be transcendent… Continue reading
my north carolina garden in spring
From my mid-teens throughout much of my adult life, the thing that got me up in the mornings and lulled me to sleep at night was dance. Whether performing, choreographing, teaching, or writing about it—I ate, breathed, and slept dance. Then I began to garden. Continue reading
I got to thinking about the things that make me smile a couple of days ago, and my dog, Darcey, is at the top of my list, so I decided to post this photo that I took of her a couple of winters ago. By professional photography standards, it isn’t a great photo, but it’s one of my favorite shots of Darcey. I love the smile on her face, which is pretty much always there and never fails to make my day better. I also love that, by the time I took the shot, she was practically out of the frame, which expresses so well her exuberant, always-on-the-go personality. (That’s her buddy, Sage, in the background, who also appears in an earlier post about Darcey.)
So…what (or who) always makes you smile?