November gratitude: dancing for the sheet joy of it


Every Saturday afternoon, I go with my friend Amy and my sister Diane to the Niagara Dance Centre in Niagara Falls. We bring our fun shoes and our energy and, at the door, we are greeted by our teacher, Miss Cathy, who points this little gunlike thermometer at our heads and pronounces us still alive. I don’t think that I’ve reached an age at which “not dead yet” is considered to be a sign of great health, but you never know. Anyway, after the little thermometer ceremony, we are then welcomed to the dance studio. We go into a room lined with barres on one side and a huge mirror on the other side, and we put on our fun shoes. I love those shoes. They look like ordinary black laceup shoes but they are anything but ordinary.

From the moment that we start our warmups, dance class is all fun, despite the moments that we nearly lose our balance and the occasional feeling that we might have done our cramp rolls with more cramp than roll. The really cool thing about tap dance is that we use our feet as rhythm instruments. We tap out the rhythm with our feet as we move about the dance floor. When we are all dancing simultaneously to the rhythm of the music, the sound is awesome. 

The other cool thing about learning to dance is that it is actually proven to be good for your brain. You have to do a variety of things, which includes listening to the music to get the beat, remembering a series of steps, and synchronizing your steps to the music. Tap dance involve a lot of complicated steps so learning it helps keep your mind sharp. And not only does it help keep your mind sharp, it’s good for your balance. You spend a lot of time on the balls of your feet and you keep shifting your weight from one foot to the other. 

We also learn a new language in tap dance. Well, many of the words are interchangeable with other form of dance. They include ball change, hop, step, spank, flap (pronounced as if it had two syllables), shuffle, time step, cramp roll, and more.

So I am grateful for dance because it is a fun type of exercise. It is something that I will be able to do when it’s wintertime and I’m doing less activity outside.

Here are a few other D words for which I am grateful:

dogs are good friends and companions. I’ve written articles about dogs for the local newspaper, from covering the SPCA fundraiser “Paws in the Park” to stories about rehabilitating dogs rescued from puppy mills. If you’d like to add a dog to your family, please adopt, don’t shop!

ducks. It’s fun to watch them paddling about in the water. After several days of rain, you can find a few ducks paddling about in the puddles in the back yard.

dresses. It’s fun to dress up every now and then and pretend to be a diva (that’s also a D word, lol).

drawing. Well, I keep a visual journal, and I will say more about that when I get to the letter V!!!

Keep dancing for the sheer joy of it! And make it a happy dance!

2 thoughts on “November gratitude: dancing for the sheet joy of it”

  1. That's so neat, that you go dancing every week!! I grew up taking ballet, tap and jazz, and then narrowed it down to jazz. And I'd love to take a jazz dance class again someday. Not sure I'd be up to it, anymore, but it would be fun to try!

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