I am dancing with my five year old self.

I am dancing with my five year old self.

She stumbles over her feet.

She doesn’t know what to do with this body that grows faster than she can chase her sister in the yard!

She throws her head back and laughs, with reckless abandon, at every silly face I make. Every dance move that, frankly, looks awkward.

She smiles because she can Because she is overjoyed, overfilled with love and laughter.

Because what else is there in the world more enjoyable than dancing?

As we spin, I watch her grow.

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She’s eight with a mop of hair on her head.

And suddenly she’s twelve and doesn’t quite understand the importance of deodorant.

Oh no, she’s sixteen and thinking about love. At this point, she’d rather dance with a boy than with a woman who can’t possibly understand what she’s going through.

Eighteen years old and she’s graduating high school.

Her tassel spins and flounces with the same vigor as our bodies.

She’s eighteen and she experiences heartbreak. And she’s hungry.

She doesn’t want to dance anymore. She doesn’t have the energy for it.

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She’s nineteen and living her best life. The light is filtering through the windows and she’s finding joy in it.

She teaches me moves and styles and a way of living and loving that transcends our dance.

She’s twenty-one and wine-turnt and laughing until her belly aches.

It’s less of a partner dance and more of a performance with each of us dancing to make the other laugh some more, utilizing energy that took years to cultivate and practice.

She’s twenty-two and has a man to slow dance with, but she knows there really is no one better to dance with than yourself.

There is no choreography; I have to go with my gut.

I don’t know what moves will come next. How I’ll dance at twenty-five. Forty-four. Ninety-seven.

But know this, wherever you find me, however you find me; there will be a melody in my head and I’ll be grooving.

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