Hearth-2-3, Hearth-2-3!

-written by Hearth Member, Matthew Reese

Last night launched Waltzdays’ first ever event and the first of many dances to be hosted by Miranda’s Hearth. I was blown away by how much fun it was.

Over fifty people gathered in the Democracy Center in Harvard Square on Sunday night at 7:00pm to dance well beyond the scheduled end time. Even the band wanted to keep going. Calling themselves “The Whom,” Kathleen Fownes and Clayton Clemetson rocked the house with waltzes that kept the floor full all night long. The smiles were infectious.

Waltzday, PhilMiranda and I began talking about a monthly waltz series this past October. The Hearth is meant to reach into all circles of communal creativity, and the dance community has long stood at the periphery of other events we host. Our hope is to solidify some of those ties, which is why I agreed to organize Waltzdays. Based on last night’s popularity, it looks promising.

Yet there’s another reason I wanted to start Waltzdays. One of the guiding principles of Miranda’s Hearth is connection – connection between creativity and community, between art and society, and between different kinds of creative endeavors people have to give. At the root of these is connection between people. Community revolves around human relationships, and I believe that dancing has a unique role in cultivating interpersonal connection.

Dancing with someone creates space for a special encounter between two human beings. Unlike a conversation, you may not learn details about a person’s life. What happens instead is a mutual beholding of the other. Dancing draws us outside of ourselves to pay attention to those whom we dance with. Regardless of who they are or how well we know them, dancing helps us recognize the other in an intrinsically human way that is integral to community. This is what I mean by connection.

The future of Waltzdays looks bright. I’m already excited for the next one on February 28. I was overwhelmed by the energy everybody contributed last night, and I can’t wait to see how that enthusiasm strengthens the Hearth community I already love so much. There’s good dancing in our future. I hope you’ll join us.

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