Shall We Dance?

The first time Marissa and I recall dancing together was on a boat in New Orleans. We were on a family vacation and the music and the mood seemed right.

It strikes me a bit funny that this moment took place nearly 3 years after we started dating and my wife has been dancing since she was younger than Sebastian is now.

The next times of note were at weddings, first when we were invited to a destination wedding of her friends in Mexico and shortly thereafter at our own wedding in 2014.

Something I’ve made mention of over the last couple of years is that after Sebastian was born, my wife and I began hitting our own impasse in the relationship and so, dancing was not often on the radar.

When we took a step back and recommitted to what our marriage meant to us, dancing came back into our lives.

And of all places, it transpired in our dining room.

Now, dancing means something different to us.

Dancing is connecting.

It’s become something of a calming force.

It’s something we do “just because” and it’s something we do when times are stressful.

Sometimes, my wife has to remind me that we haven’t danced in a while.

Sometimes, I take her hand and she follows the lead.

The music might be jazz or it might be a ballad that means something to us.

We normally don’t speak when we dance.

We just dance.

No matter what was happening in our worlds prior to dancing, no matter what stress was bothering us, it slips away for those moments when the song plays and, by time it ends, the focus is back on us and back at that present moment.

I can watch a complete shift happen in Marissa’s demeanor after we dance. So much so that, if we were to dance daily it would probably lose its emotional power.

Of course, sometimes we get an intrusion from our four year old. It’s a picturesque scene until real life occurs and Sebastian comes running into the room to show us something he thinks is completely amazing on YouTube.

Hey, I’m all for romance but we’re still parents…

And, if we can get Sebastian redirected, we’ll come back to our dance, or simply pick another song and continue.

Whoever you are, whoever you’re with, you’ll need something to bring you back to center: maybe it’s a hike, or a walk around the block, or a quiet evening on a deck with a fire.

Life won’t slow down for you. Life won’t always be kind just because you’re kind. Life will frequently be unfair.

Find your place, your force, that brings you back to center.

It’s a sentiment that is probably more “woo” than I generally like to be.

But I know what this one particular activity does for Marissa and myself.

The picture below was taken nearly 10 years ago, admittedly one of my favorite pictures of us dancing, and one of my favorite pictures of us in general.

While the dancing we do at home is more reserved and less animated, it also serves a different purpose.

Now, when we dance, it’s to remind one another why we’re here for each other, why we matter to one another, and it’s a comfort that there’s no better place to be.

To my partner, my love, shall we dance?