Memories of Dancing Outside

This week has been a little crazy. Very few of you will see this when it posts, and you will know that about a week ago, you were given a quick heads up that my blog was suddenly relocating (or you figured it out on your own very quickly). So if you survived that ride, thank you. If you’ve just stumbled onto this blog, howdy!

While surviving this experience (because for some reason it was more heinous that previous blog migrations I’ve been through), things have been changing outside my window. My father is a fantastic gardener. But our yard is a squirrel haven, and they have taken every opportunity to either steal the fruits and vegetables or just pulled out and destroyed plants.

So, my father has spent the week putting up a greenhouse in the backyard so he can grow his plants and the squirrels can just stare longingly. (Meet the first resident!) This greenhouse, a small, clear, cube-like structure, is going into the space I used to dance in when I was in middle school.

I’ve spent a lot of time since returning to this house thinking about afternoons spent in the back yard, my little pink cassette player playing at full volume from its spot under the swing, a small bag of tapes and a pile of ribbons and batons dumped next to it. (Eventually, my mother found a six-pack carrier that was perfectly designed to hold my ribbons and batons.) It was where I danced when my academic schedule left no time for actually being in a regular ballet class.

This persistent need to fill my free time with dancing benefited me when I was finally able to return to ballet class and let me come back at about the level I left. A few years later, I suffered a career-ending injury, and now I just stare out the window and think about grabbing my ribbons (which I still have) and my hula hoop and just going outside and playing for a few minutes.

But this longing to go outside and see if I can still spin a hula hoop like a color guard flag has made me think about the last time I lived in this house (just a couple of years after the career-ending injury, but a few years before we found out just how bad the injury was). Because my body couldn’t handle the desert environment where my school was located, I spent the last year of grad school here.

I was actively involved with a LARP, where I periodically danced and sang in artistic competitions. But it never occurred to me to go outside and work on my dances. I arranged my room to have the space I needed inside. Even now, my room is arranged so I can do yoga and Pilates (foot permitting) inside.

Maybe creativity no longer thrives in that space, but thanks to the greenhouse, other good things will. And really, that’s all that matters.