A Day Not Lost

Many years ago, I was going to the studio for my own dance lesson. It was located in an old building and the elevator was so small, it held only four people at once. Every time you went in it, you prayed it would make it to the third floor where the studio was located. As I was leaving and was on it, the elevator stopped between floors two and three. I saw no phone there to call, which I think is mandatory now and I started hollering. The owner of the studio heard me and said “where are you?” and I hollered in utter panic, in between two and three floors. Somehow he juggled it from above and I made it down to the bottom level.

After that, I hardly ever rode an elevator alone. I always wait till this day to ride up with someone in there with me. My husband always says why and I tell him that at least I have someone to talk to in an emergency. The other day I was late for a dentist appointment and could not wait till someone came to ride with me. The door started to close and an elderly lady said hold it and I did and she got on with me. My always first question is what floor are you going to and she replied two. I explained that I disliked since that long ago day to ride alone, but I would do fine. She said she would ride the extra floor with me, I replied God bless you.

She laughed and said that she was stuck in an elevator in her own home. Your own home has an elevator I said with great surprise. She said that she was a nun and the elevator was in the convent. Of course, the convent is her home, so she was telling the truth. I thought it ironic that I said God bless you not knowing she was a lady of religion.

Home as they say is where the heart is. Home to this nun is the convent; to me it is my own house. Sometimes I think that my second home is a dance studio. I feel at home in the studio as if this is my second place of living. I have spent lots of hours in different studios throughout the years either taking dance lessons or dancing there. I have always felt peaceful and have lost any problems of that day right before opening the door to my dance activity. Many years ago, a politician here in Maryland ran on a slogan that said “your home is your castle.” He lost the election because voters thought he was talking about segregation. He was only trying to distinguish people’s feelings about their residences and that they should pick their politician by his or her helping them to keep their neighborhoods safe and sound etc.

The first night that we walked into the dance studio for a ten lesson course was November 2, 1977. We came to take classes so we would be able to dance at a future dinner-dance we were having for our son. Of course, we stayed all these twenty-nine years and they have all been happy ones except a few times when we argued so much over some dance step.I always say that you have a really good marriage if it can withstand taking ballroom dance lessons with one another. I look forward to my lessons or my Sunday tea dance with great anticipation because it is like a rainbow in the sky. There is so much beauty in dance that envisioning it before it happens is almost as great as the actual moment.

There is a saying that goes like this:
Count that day lost
When low descending sun
Views from thy hand
No deed of kindness done

I wrote a rhyming poem to a new ophthalmologist, a female one who had been so kind and caring to me when I was having an exam. I had never had a female eye doctor and she was so sweet, loving and truly interested in me as a person and not just as a patient.
She wrote me a thank you note for the poem saying how she had shared it with her husband and parents and it gave everyone including her great joy. She said she could tell that Elita lives by this philosophy of doing kind things. Her name is Dr. Lee Alison Snyder and she herself exemplifies this good deed philosophy. She wrote the saying quoted above to me in her thank you note. I had never heard it but loved the adage and her too instantly.

So to the nun riding the elevator one extra floor (you could say a bit closer to God) and to the female doctor who truly is a lady in all meanings of the word, we can all be kind to one another either by expressions or notes. We as ballroom dancers can encourage any one we know who may be interested in maybe ballroom dancing that they can do it regardless of age, regardless of some health problems and regardless of finances. There is always some inexpensive coaching around even if at a senior center in a group class or a lesson at a studio which usually costs about ten dollars per time as long as there are several other people taking at once,

Ballroom dancing is a soothing outlet for our emotions and many times will calm our state of mind. We become more peaceful and I have so many dance posters, pictures, trophies, statues of dancing, that if they ever wrote up the decorative side of my home in a magazine article, the theme would be Ballroom Dancer’s Castle is Indeed Befitting of Her Dance Shoes. Ballroom dancing tranquility makes life serene. When we are untroubled, we will react to others with many deeds of kindness done and that day will not be lost. That day will be viewed from thy hand with love.

Elita Sohmer Clayman
October 2006
Keep on Dancing