Waltz-2-3…POLKA!

-written by Hearth Member, Matthew Reese

…and I thought the first Waltzdays was fun.

This past Sunday, seventy-five people joined us for the second Waltzdays. The excitement and energy exceeded even the first one. It was a rockin’ night of whirling, twirling, laughing, and oh so many smiles. The Whom returned to assume their place as the house band, and sounded better than ever. They even busted out a polka at the break, leaving me gasping for breath but grinning from ear to ear. By the end of the night, it took some urging to empty the building of dancers who didn’t want to stop. I certainly didn’t.

Last month I wrote briefly about the importance of connection, both in dancing and in community. It fascinates me how different kinds of dance can establish different kinds of connection between the dancers. Many folk dances are very simple and group-oriented to accommodate all persons in a community participating together. Certain kinds of partner dancing yield themselves to intimacy some might not be comfortable sharing with a stranger. My curiosity with various kinds of connection through dance convinced me that this event should be waltzing.

Matthew, WaltzdaysWaltzing is unique in that it can easily be whatever you want it to be. Before I knew how to waltz, I loved sitting out and watching others waltz. On a single dance floor, I could witness a vast range of human experiences: friends goofing off, doubled over laughing, young lovers enjoying the serenity of the moment, strangers getting to know each other for the first time, and elderly couples who danced with decades of memories all share the same space. All kinds of people dance in all kinds of ways. The simplicity of waltzing makes it accessible to everybody, and welcoming enough in its structure to allow connection with just about anyone.

That’s why I wanted to start Waltzdays. Community is about individuals connecting in the context of something larger. Both the group collectivity and the particular individuality are important, and they should coexist harmoniously to establish a place in which individuals flourish in relation to others. Sunday exemplified this, as I watched old friends and complete strangers dance indiscriminately, making new friends and beautiful connections.

I can’t wait until March 27, when we’ll be back at it.

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