I had a lesson this weekend in the power of ceremony and tradition. Saturday night I went to my club’s monthly square dance, and the theme was graduation. The twenty-week class which I took had just finished, certifying a bunch of us as mainstream dancers. This means that we have learned all of the calls in that level, although we still need lots of practice. During the dance, they held a small graduation ceremony for us, but first they gave us a final exam. During this examination dance we received some very silly hazing. I won’t tell you what it was, because rituals like this should remain secret. The fun is in the surprise, and I wouldn’t want any of the new dancers to learn of it before their time comes. I won’t forget the graduation dance, and that’s what matters.
We also received humorous diplomas and our official club name tags. I enjoyed the whole thing, because it felt like we were being welcomed into the group even further, and that’s a great feeling to have. Our group is full of incredibly fun and friendly people. That’s one of the reasons I love square dancing so much. I love the laid-back nature of it all, the silly noises we make as we dance and the way everyone in a square jokes around with each other. I also love that some of our dancers dress up for the monthly dance.
Now that I’ve completed the mainstream level of classes, I am attending the same class again as an “angel.” Angels are people who come to the classes to help the new students with their experience, and also to help fill out the squares. I’m glad that I can give back to the club while I practice, and it gives me more chances to dance, too. It’s a win-win situation, and I know that I’ll become a better dancer as I help the new people. I’ll also get to know the newest members of our club. Square dancing is very social. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn its lessons for a long time.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
180. Are you part of organizations that add joy to your life? How can you give back to those groups? Consider your options.