Saturday, June 14, 2008

How can you just sit there?

Friday night jazz, downtown Greenville, live band, drums, awesome blues guitar, singer with a cool powerful voice and far too many people doing a great imitation of statues. Friday night, Laura, my youngest, took me downtown to listen to some great jazz and blues. She wanted to dance, a lot of her fellow swing dances come out on Friday night and dance in the street, well, actually on the sidewalk or piazza in front of the Hyatt. I am too proud to attempt to dance with an audience of strangers watching, although they probably wouldn't pay attention to me, but you know how sensitive guy's egos are. Anyway, I will be learning to swing dance because it looked like a barrel full of fun.

It was interesting to see the effect that the music had on individuals in the crowd. The range of effects was staggeringly wide.

First, you had the dancers. There were the swing dancers, or some variation of that, dancers with steps and order. Then there the couples that just had to move their bodies to the music even though sometimes, their movements made me think I might need to call 911 to help them with their seizure. The amazing thing to me about this second group of dancers was how uninhibited they were, which might have been aided by liquid courage, but I think it was just natural response to the music. I envied their lack of foolish pride.

After the dancers, you had the seat dancers, or the shimmiers and shakers. These were the folks who, even though they were sitting down, or leaning against a tree or pole, could not sit still, they moved their legs in time with the beat, bobbed their heads, with animated facial expressions or lips mouthing the words. It was clear that these folks were moved by the music, but just could not bring themselves to join the dance floor, dance sidewalk, you get the point.

Then there were the toe tappers. Folks that liked the music and kept time with the feet. If you looked just at their upper body or face, you might have assumed the music didn't have anything for them, but one glimpse toward the ground reassured you that they were feeling the music as much as hearing it.

The final group amazed me, they never moved, not at all. I wanted to walk up and hold a mirror under there nose before calling the coroner. I don't understand how you can not move to music, maybe not as dramatically as a dancer, or with as much emphasis as seat dancer, but, come on, toe tapping is not hard and hardly draws attention to yourself. I don't know if it were a conscious decision to not look common by showing that you enjoyed the music or if they were deaf. Ok, maybe that is a little harsh, but I was stunned.

So that leaves just one more thing to report, my actions. I'm a seat shimmier, or in this case a concrete pillar dancer. I could not stop moving, of course Laura told me later that at one point she almost broke into a laugh because my head bobbing looked more like "Doing the Chicken" than any kind of dancing.

In conclusion: I had a blast!

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