YOLO ~ Expressing Your Soul through Jazz Dance

Dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt.
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
~  William W. Purkey

When I was about eight years old, it was the craze in Los Angeles that little girls took Ballet.  I remember Dad dropping mom and me off at the L.A. Ballet School in Hollywood.  I was so excited cause when we left New York in 1955 Hamilton, a close friend of my dad’s brought me a ballerina doll that stood about as tall as I was.  It went everywhere with me.  When the stereo was playing, Dad would always put me atop his feet and swirled around the room as if we were ball room dancing.  For my sixth birthday, Mom bought a ballerina music box that I would play incessantly.  I put on a turquoise leotard with a pretty floral en-point skirt.  I had regular ballet slippers on.  Well the Grand Dame asked all of us to line up into three rows of five girls.  I stayed in the back for moral support.  The Instructor pointed at me and asked me to do the five positions.  Well, after several tries I heard a slap of her stick on the floor and pointing it at me, Daarling, you do not have the body or coordination to be a ballet Dancer.  I turned and looked at mom and she was about to say something but decided not.  I turned back and said, Okay! See you.  Mom walked toward me taking my hand and  we left the studio and went to a nearby diner.  I had a big chocolate malt.   I never mentioned it again until Dizzy and his wife Lorraine came to visit us.  She was a dancer and she asked me if I liked to dance.  I told her that the instructor said I didn’t have the body for it.  She stood up and moved to the center of our family room and declared, Dancers are the messengers of the gods. ~ says Martha GrahamSo my dear, let’s cut the rug and dance to Clair du Lune.  That was the song that played on my ballerina music box.  Let me show you how I danced and won Dizzy’s heart.  Close your eyes and let your arms and feet guide you.  You are being lead by your soul.  

Uploaded on Jun 7, 2010

Jazz Dance Beat … Then and Now

A Presentation of Jazz Dance, its past history, present status and future directions. Jazz Dance was born in Africa many centuries ago and was cherished and nourished as an American art form throughout the 20th Century. Jazz Dance is one of our national treasures.

There are two distinct areas of jazz dance; commercial jazz dance and lyrical jazz dance. In the 1970s, a major transitional period with a lot of leisure time. Dance for enjoyment and onstage performances developed venues for commercial jazz dance. This form of jazz dance, performed for movement and pleasure’s sake, was readily accepted because it mimics contemporary pulse and rhythms of daily life. This dance form parallels today’s music and is an expression of society’s natural movements and temperaments. Commercial jazz dance has become accessible to the lay person as it integrates easily with theater, television, films, and discos back in the day.

So now every chance I get I dance it out. I confess that I have dance parties in my living room. Cranking up my favorite tunes and dancing around makes me drown out the noise of all the things I need to do.  I do about fifteen minutes worth. It is a great way to relieve bottled-up stress and listen to the rhythm and respond the way you feel.  I become centered and I am living with music and not dying with the noise of whatever I have to do.  I would dance before my cancer treatments, so that I could dance mentally while getting my treatments.  How about you?  Peace Out!


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