We made a ‘comeback’ after not dancing for over two years due to an auto accident we were unlucky enough to have encountered. Now we came back on the 27th only to be deterred again because I fell going down a curb in front of the hair salon where I went to get beautiful again so I could go to the dance.

I stepped down and missed my step and fell to the ground and this over the 4th of July weekend. It is not good to be injured or sick over holiday weekends. Luckily that afternoon my doctor was still there in the office and saw me and determined I had lots of bruises and they would heal. The following Tuesday after the holiday I was given sixteen x-rays over various parts of the body. The only thing that turned up was a large one on my tussy and an injured right knee with internal or anterior as was called on the report bruise.

Now I am almost ninety-nine percent healed and off we are to the dance studio to do what we seniors do the best. We dance, we socialize, we have fun and the bonus part is it is good for our health, mentally and physically.

Rosamarie Simpson from out West wrote me that she and her husband dance every week on a Saturday night even on the nights they do not feel like going. They push themselves, dress up and get in the car. Once, she said they are at the studio, everything melts away that has gone wrong that week either at home, with the relatives, with the children and at work. They are in their oasis of good music, great times, light snacks and movement of their bodies.

When they come home, they are delirious with the knowledge that they have accomplished something that is beneficial for their minds and souls along with their sore feet. Many write me the same things as Rosamarie says in her email note. It is as if we are in a different world when we dance. We rarely know the people well that we associate with at the dance, yet they are our special dancing friends.

When my son was Bar Mitzvah over thirty-two years ago, we had a lovely dinner and dance in his honor. We specifically learned to dance right before the event because I wanted to be able to get up and have fun at this occasion. Dance we did and have been doing that at many events including my daughter-in-law’s two brother’s weddings along with my son and her wedding almost ten years ago. Now her youngest brother is marrying in December and he said to me "remember you always said you would dance at my wedding and now it is almost here."

That is nice to be remembered by a young person that he thinks about seeing us dance at the other siblings’ weddings and now it is his and his fiancée’s turn.

Rafe and Cyndi are a young couple from the mid west and they tell me that after the kids are put to sleep and they may be tired from work and home duties, they take every night thirty minutes to practice what they learned the previous week in their dance class of ten people. That is why they are doing excellent dancing because they practice the steps immediately. My husband and I used to do that almost thirty-three years ago when we came home from a dance lesson on a Tuesday night at the studio. In those days a private lesson cost less then twenty dollars and if you bought ten at a time, they were 18.75 each which in those days was still a lot of money for a young couple. We would not go out to eat as often to a restaurant because we wanted to encourage our minds, feet and heart to dance. We would take the children out to a family style restaurant because they loved the hot dogs, hamburgers and fries but instead of going out ourselves we put the money towards a weekly dance lesson.

This was our happiness, our purpose for a social life, our guide to learning in our forties and when Mom came to babysit on Saturday nights, we went dancing. In those days everyone smoked and the place was quite smoky and the owner herself reeked from cigarette smoke. Eventually, she was forced to put the smokers in a separate room because the dancers rebelled of sitting next to people that blew smoke in their face and they were trying to dance etc.

There was one lady named Mamie who finally was told off by me. I said Mamie, we did not come here to smell your smoke, and we came to dance. She looked at me like I was crazy and this long before smoking is banned in restaurants, offices and halls. She would huff and puff (literally) from the smoking and eventually passed on due to lung problems.

So the dance studio is your haven away from home and should be a happy, clean and fresh air type place with no smokers destroying the air and making it hard for the dancers to breathe and dance peacefully.

Shakespeare said in Sonnet 144 (this the interpreted version, not the exact words)

I love two people. One comforts me and the other makes me despair like two spirits

both constantly point me in two different directions. We can say that about our dancing activities. One aspect of dancing comforts me and hugs my heart into feeling peaceful. The other makes me not despairing but uncomfortable meaning they sometimes say or do difficult things and that makes me despair and even though I care for them, I love the other more. So we gravitate to the love of what we call dancing and what it does for our spirit and move away from someone who tries to put us down and makes us sad.

There are many people out there, even some in our family who thrive on trying to put us down and say disparaging things to us even though they act like they are saying it for our own good. What they are really doing is trying to lift themselves up at our expense and make us feel not too happy at the moment whereas we who are avid dancers can always find it in our heart to encourage and inspire new people into dancing and we compliment them and assure them that they are doing well and make them smile. When we give a simple pleasurable remark, we show that we are kind, caring, and compassionate and to encourage someone who is unsure of themselves is to compliment our self that we are dear souls who know how to enlighten others with our knowledge and decency.

Dancing is like two people. One the inspiring soul and one who is inspired. May we always be inspired and also inspire others too.

Elita Sohmer Clayman
September 2010


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Published by René Zgraggen
Montgomery, AL