Yesterday, I went with friends to Riverside Park for a live concert. It was a great time! Typical summer concert, everyone brings chairs, food, wine, and we all hang out for a few hours listening to music.
You know, when I go to events like this, or weddings, or at a restaurant with a dance floor... I always tap my foot, and wriggle around a little in my chair. I want to dance, and I don't. I always feel very self-conscious about getting up and just dancing, in front of strangers. Why this is, I don't know. Onstage, I'm a dancing fool. Onstage, it is choreographed, I am not myself, but the character I am portraying. And I have always viewed the audience as friends, not strangers.
In a public social setting, there is no escaping myself.
But at these events, I always feel a little regretful, when some fantastic tune starts playing... and I remain in my chair. I disappoint myself.
So back to Riverside. Last night, towards the end of the concert, a small group of people wound up standing in front of the stage, dancing. I had noticed one older gentleman earlier that evening, kind of grooving in his chair. Now he was up there with a half dozen other people of assorted ages, shaking his moneymaker. I sipped wine, and watched the dancers idly while I chatted with my friends.
It was a good ten minutes before I noticed... that older gentleman who was out there having such a fine time... had a prosthetic leg.
And in that moment, I felt so ashamed of my fears. My fear of being judged. My fear of falling on my ass. This man was out there showing all us wallflowers up, and taking joy in his dancing! He completely ignored what would be, to many of us, a tragic misfortune. This man was totally fearless. Totally fierce. Totally free.
I decided, late last night, that that is the last time I ever sit something out again. I am going to remember the joy in that man's movements, and in his face, and I am going to get up and dance, goddammit.
So here is a little something for you all to dance to.... GET UP AND DANCE!