Children do it instinctively. Babies do it, even in the womb. Young lovers look into each other’s eyes and already know how to move together, while septuagenarians will shed arthritic knees and aching backs to glide out on the floor without thinking. But it’s hard for a lot of the rest of us Grownups to just get out there and dance. It’s been a part of every culture around the world forever; maybe we’re just out of practice.
I have just finished floating about the Caribbean on a giant ship, with no Internet, so no travel blogs until now. Besides which I have been too busy dancing, sometimes to a DJ in a club, occasionally with a group or at a lesson, and the rest of the time just in my head.
This is a revelation to me because from the time I was an adolescent to just a few years ago, I gave up dancing. Like many people, I was just too self-conscious that even having taken lessons, I couldn’t “do it” right. Then I took up Zumba after I stopped working full-time: problem solved.
Regular readers and friends know that I play a bit of pickleball, which is a cult, as we are well aware. Pickleball players talk about it all the time, but the folks in my Zumba classes do it just as often and enthusiastically. We have our favorite teachers and get there early for their sessions; we miss them when we’re on vacation. And once you start, you don’t want to stop.
There was a lot of kvetching last week about the Grammys this year, on the Facebook and the Interwebs. As in, who are these people?
Our blogging friend Fandango wondered about it in his Wednesday question of the week. After wondering why so many people on the Grammys seem strange, his question was What’s your favorite music, but I decline to answer that, since my list is long, and I like individual songs rather than the style (though I will answer, at the end of the post). I’m still considering the other question: Who are these people?
I’ve seen my contemporaries, my sexagenarian friends, ask that question too, with a lot of grumpiness. And yet, I say to them, when you were a kid and watched Frank Sinatra or Perry Como sing year after year at the Grammys or the Oscars, didn’t you feel like they ought to shuffle aside for someone a little hipper?
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
“Ozymandias” sonnet by Shelley
I’m starting to feel like the grumpy old man next door when I go to museums. Case in point: this week’s sojourn to see the “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharoahs” exhibit, at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. I was decidedly underwhelmed. Or, perhaps I should say overwhelmed by the crowds of people in small spaces, coupled with constant video and barking audio displays, to the point where it was hard to stand and just take in the 3200-year-old artifacts. I am such a history buff that I thought I’d be a little more impressed, so why wasn’t I? I have a theory, plus an important museum hack to share.