For some reason, the first few days of dance camp seem to go by more slowly, maybe because there are so many days ahead, it seems to be wonderfully endless. We’ll just keep dancing and dancing, learning new steps and styles, twirling and spinning, grapevining and circling with our friends, old and new-found.
Then with an unexpected suddenness comes Saturday and we’re near the end. We’ve learned twenty or thirty or even forty new dances, and are charged with taking those pieces of culture back to our “villages,” our own dance groups back home.
Imagine a time when folk dancing was an everyday experience, when this village or that would have a certain special dance, or several that were passed down from parents to children. They might do the same dance as in another village, but with a twist–two turns instead of one, a grapevine that starts with a forward cross instead of backward. They might travel to another village and bring with them those variations or even entirely new dances. Their unique twist on an integral part of their lives–dancing–would be shared beyond their small world, from one village to the next, down the generations.
I like to think that those who attend dance camp–this one in Stockton and other camps and workshops around the world–have an opportunity to send out into the world new ways of thinking about things (and not just dance) in the same way that a villager from the past shared with others and thereby shared their culture. As I said in a previous post, if we’d only dance together, we wouldn’t have time to argue, we wouldn’t have time to fight. We’d just dance.
Here is a video and a few photos from this afternoon’s talent show: