The idea for this topic came to me while reading Ekoshapu’s post. I am informed by my co Friday 2 on 1 blogger Shackman that, he cannot dance and so, I am very keen to see what he writes about the subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say.
India has many forms of folk dances and I suppose dancing to the rhythms of our various types of music comes more or less naturally to us. I grew up seeing older women in our families dancing at weddings and other occasions. My mother was particularly good at it and very popular among her friends who inevitably invited her to functions to lead them.
My first personal exposure to dancing was the traditional Tamil folk dancing called Dappaan Koothu. This was in all the schools that I went to including one where our classical dance Bharatanatyam was taught too.
And trust me, I was pretty good at Dappaan Koothu.
I never developed a taste for any of our classical forms of dances despite being posted in all the major cities of India on various occasions. During my mid teen years however, I learnt ball room dancing as it was called here then. I learnt the fox trot, waltz and cha cha cha. Later on I also learnt to jive and life was good. I however could not find partners to dance with me.
That changed in 1963 when I did find a partner who could dance and did we light up some dos in Chennai!
1965 saw me going off to Business School and I did find some places to go dancing though not as often as I would have liked. 1967 took me to Bombay where I found partners again and more opportunities to indulge. 1968 saw me getting back in the life of my friend who subsequently became my wife in Hyderabad and the dancing resumed. We did not stop till I was more or less forced to stop dances other than a gentle slow fox trot or a two-step, due to problems with my hips. My wife also would tell anyone willing to listen that I danced with her so that I could look over her head at other women on the dance floor and flirt with them. There were occasions when during dances in our local club, young ladies would come over to ask me to teach them to jive after obtaining permission from her. I perhaps lost the opportunity to start a school for dancing!
There is a blogger lady in the UK hoping that one of these days, I will land up there and sweep her off her feet and dance on the roads there while it rains. I hope that she is reading this. While I hope that I can too, considering my age and health issues, it seems more and more unlikely. I hope that she is the praying type as may be that would work!
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
11 thoughts on “Dancing!”
I like dancing but circumstances resulted in my not dancing as much as I would have enjoyed — tapped when I was young. Sounds like you had a lot of dancing and glad you had a life partner who enoyed dancing with you. I won’t repeat here all of what I described on Shackman’s blog, but I do like ballet, jazz and tap, movie musicals with singing and dancing. Hope you kick up your heels again if even st a slower, less mobile pace. Recently saw a video in which even wheelchair-limited persons were enjoying dancing.
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There are any number of short clips floating around in WhatsApp and Facebook showing old people dancing and having a ball. Your case and mine are not uncommon as we are constrained due to physical constraints and not any reluctance to do what comes naturally to all humans.
I am “reading this”! I always do. In fact, as I was reading about your dancing exploits, getting a bit jealous and slightly agitated(yes, yes, yes, but what about ME, ME, ME?), I wondered whether you’d forgotten about our long outstanding arrangement. So happy you haven’t.
Alas, my dear Ramana, I am not “the praying type”. Which doesn’t stop me from saying “DEAR GOD, … (enter request)”. I am the optimistic type; I am also the romantic type. And some things in life are just as delicious in our imagination as they are in execution. Which doesn’t mean I have given up on the idea of us doing a slow feet shuffle in real time, sitting down if needs must. As long as one of us brings an umbrella. Our respective sons can provide sound effect by watering can.
Funny the theme would come up in today’s post since only yesterday, out and about, light drizzle, I thought of you and our promise to each other (your beloved synchronicity). Now all I need to do is take Shackman in hand. Seems I’ll have my work cut out considering his reluctance to put foot forward.
Great read, Ramana, and does confirm what I have learnt about you. Quite the charmer, easy going. “Flirting” over your wife’s head? How tall was she? Come to think of it, it might explain why some women go for short men, like Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Woody Allen. They don’t get a look in.
Hug and kiss,
I never underestimate synchronicity. She was 5’2″ to my 5’10”. You can see the advantage that I had!
I never learnt any of the traditional dances like ballroom dancing, I grew up in the age of disco dancing. I’m still fit enough to enjoy dancing, but this constant refrain from the young that the sight of old people dancing is embarrassing and they shouldn’t bother really annoys me. Why shouldn’t I dance if I want to?
I agree. You should indeed dance away if you want to and give two hoots to the young who think otherwise.
Keep it up! Dance your heart out. We had our turn at being young. They will have their chance to be old.
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Dancing. Frankly I’d rather sit and listen to live music. With a cold beer. Although the folk dancing experience I had was great fun……
I can honestly say that I am exactly like that now.
I had never heard of Dappaan Koothu before, so I opened YouTube and watched some dances. I must say, man, this style is unique. The music and dance style is amazing and crazy too. BTW, Loved this article, keep going.
Thank you. I will.
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