This story was crafted with the support of the Writing Club, a space dedicated to storytelling and creative writing practice inside Dance in Conversation community. We are still dancing, as ever, and this time it’s with words. To know more about the club, subscribe to the community newsletter.

Dancing through lockdown

Step 1

When you have two left feet which one do you put forward? This had been my long-lost dilemma for far too many years. I had tried to take this waltz in my hands, to pace my arhythmic existence through movement; classes, social events, festivals. But for all the conventions of the dance world the connections felt loose, wires hanging that rarely touched.

Then one night it all stopped. And nothing breeds desire like interruption…

Step 2

At first the collective non-sharing had its own exhilaration; we had an un-heard immunity few had realised. The isolated revelled in mutual isolation, their normal void overfilled by shared futility. But over the long daily weekends even the new silence could deafen. Where once regular existence had been a pedestrian Adagio, now it was Largo, with barely a hint of rhythm to anything. The lockdown had suppressed something I didn’t even know was there.

Step 3

Waltzes take two steps backwards before going forward. I needed a new dance, a new milonga. Something to stop me self-isolating from myself, to allow me at last to unmask my emotions. Perhaps covid would be the curtain music that made me change my step. I couldn’t wash my hands of responsibility for ever.

This was no five o’clock announcement for my independence day. No illiterate alliteration from the tabloids, no earwig slogan, disrupting my thoughts. Just my quiet realisation that there can be no wrong feet. Life needs no preparation, no lessons in alertness. Put both feet forward and you can dance pirouettes.

Now I feel the sun-life on my face in the morning and smile. Today is going to be just like every other day.

By Robin

I love to dabble in dance, and have tried quite a few (tango of course, the queen of dances but perhaps the most challenging); salsa, zouk, bachacha, hula, samba, and even a little Japanese fan dance. In the good old days I used to travel lot, and tried to dance wherever I landed. Now I just have to imagine the dance, and really appreciate the help of my friends to keep me in step.

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