Boxing the gnat in Seattle

I am sitting outside a church, waiting for my square dance class to assemble. As usual, I am early, because I don’t like to cut things too close on the bus. The schedules are not that precise. As usual, I don’t mind. The church has a lovely set of steps for me to sit on, and as I write this I am listening to the whispering of the leaves in the breeze. The trees are giving me some welcome shade, and I am cool for the first time today. Seattle is still a bit warmer than normal.

Today is the last square dancing class in this cycle. Class began twenty weeks ago, and all of us new dancers are now certified mainstream-level dancers. This means that I have learned sixty-nine different square dance calls and can dance them all. Since these calls have been standardized throughout Modern Western square dancing, it also means that I can dance at that level all around the world. I’ve been told that square dancing is always called in English, so I could dance these same calls in a foreign country, should I be lucky enough to travel there.

Since I’m in a primarily gay club, I’ve also learned all sorts of flourishes. We call these flourishes “fluff”, and we use this extra layer of movement and sounds to embellish the dancing and make it more fun. Fluff also helps the person who is calling, because gay square dancers can choose to dance either position in a square—in other words, a woman can choose to dance the position of “boy” or “girl” and vice versa. When the caller specifies that girls should trade, we yell out the word “girl”, because sometimes even the dancers forget who is dancing in which position. This becomes even more difficult because many people become “bi-dansual”, meaning that they know how to dance either role.

I’m so happy to have square dancing as one of the forms of dancing I do on a weekly basis. Dancing adds so much joy to my life, and I look forward to it in all the different forms it takes throughout my week. Now, too, I can definitely say that I’m getting exercise on a regular basis, and I don’t dread a moment of it. That, in itself, is a great blessing.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

157. Have you been meaning to get more exercise? Think about fun physical activities that you already enjoy, and consider adding a little more time for them into your schedule. Or, try something completely different—you might get hooked!

Links, should you desire them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Western_square_dance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_square_dancing

http://www.iagsdc.org/puddletown/aboutGaySquareDancing.php

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