We will not part from you
I am writing this a day after my great niece’s wedding on July 10,2005. She, a Jewish young medical student and her now husband, a Quaker,a PHD candidate were married in a ceremony combining both faiths. Family came from Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland , North Carolina and many other regions. The young couple called me several months ago (knowing that aunty and uncle are ballroom dancers) and asked who I recommended for them to take a few ballroom wedding lessons for their first dance. I suggested our coach, John Dawson, here in Baltimore, Maryland. They were pleased with him and him with them and their first dance was magnificent for a first dance of young people that are used to dancing without structure in the manner of young people now days dancing.
They looked lovely and polished and everyone applauded. They are both busy with their college studies and exams and long hours at the University of Maryland and they excelled. At their wedding ceremony they had a poem recited, an old Chinese poem. It goes like this
I want to be your friend
For ever and ever
When the hills are all flat
and the rivers are all dry
When the trees blossom in winter
And the snow falls in summer
When heaven and earth mix
Not till then will I part from you
The reason I am writing about all this is that ballroom dancing can be applied to that love poem. Ballroom dancing is our friend for ever and ever. When the trees blossom in winter and the snow falls in summer , then will we part from our dancing spirit. My husband and I got up and danced for the first time in eight and half months. We both had falls in December 04 and January 05 and we had to put up with many months of physical therapy and exercise and no dancing and lo and behold, on Sunday July tenth at our great niece’s beautiful wedding, the Claymans once again danced. Oh how wonderful it was to do it again after so long a time. We remembered (though a bit hesitant at times) our steps and our little together routines that we have in each dance and we felt elated. I did ( he would not admit to it, though he did) and some guests remarked how well we danced. That in itself is like getting a trophy at a dance contest. The excitement and the high feeling one gets on this ballroom dancing phenomenon is like no other reward.
Lately, there have been a few weeks of dancing on ABC television on Wednesday nights and ballroom dancing got noticed by the general television audience. People all over our area are calling dance studios to ask about prices and schedules. There have been many articles written about ballroom dancing and how all of a sudden it has emerged as an interesting thing to try and do. This is amazing to all of us who have been dancing this "thing" for over twenty years. There are many out there who have been dancing more than twenty years and yes we did not need any television show to entice us.
The rivers are not dry and the flowers did not bloom in the winter and the snow did not come in the summer. We knew that dancing was our best friend and did not part from it. William Shakespeare said in Sonnet 116 "Love is not love when which alters when its alteration finds, it is an ever fixed mark."
We old time ballroom dancers need not watch a television special that went on for six weeks to alter our feeling for our love-ballroom dancing for ever and ever.
Elita S. Clayman