Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dancing Memories

I want to share with you today my memories of dance. It must have happened when I was an infant watching my parents dance. No, I don’t remember seeing my parents dance, but I can just imagine how beautiful the moment must appear to a child. For the first time, the child is witnessing the movement of limbs and hips in harmony with the beat of the music.


As older children, my brothers and I would play for most of the day in front of our apartment building, but sometimes my mother would gather us in the house with our friends and turn on her record player. The song that comes to mind in memory is “Car Wash” by the R&B group, Rose Royce. I remember we would all take turns dancing in the middle of the circle. When my turn came up, I would close my eyes and just allow my body to flow with the rhythm of the music. I remember the exhilarating feeling and laughing as my mother cheered me on, "Go head Stevie!" The moment left an indelible impression on my mind. It influenced how I interpret movement and music. It helped me to understand the marriage between the two and the beauty that it can impress upon a child's mind. "Happy music! Music on my mind..." ~The Blackbyrds

Painting:
William H. Johnson Jitterbugs Series ca. 1941

20 comments:

Dancewithme2 said...

"GO HEAD STEVIE!!!!" Priceless. Dance is good for the heart as well as the soul. I'm glad you've found it. :-)

Stephen Bess said...

Dance-
I knew you could appreciate this post. :)I agree. I'm still waiting for the day I can see you do your thing on stage.

Dawn said...

I remember going to visit family friends as a kid and watching the adults (after a few drinks) dance to the music. More than the dancing, I remember the laughter and loud talking...they were having so much fun.

Icarus said...

Dancing? Wild, cool, let-it-all-out...nothing beats it!

And dance is by far my fave of all the performing arts. There's so much good modern now. You like that too Stevie?

Guyana-Gyal said...

What a joyful, uplifting post! 'Go head, Stevie.' Wish you could see me smiling.

Rethabile said...

I have to echo 'mè and the other commenters: "Go ahead, ntate Bess!" This is the right post for today. It reminds me of Roy Blumenthal's painting: Dancers

Stephen Bess said...

Dawn-
Yes, they had good times back then. They would always send us in our room. :)

Icarus-
yes, I especially like my daughters South African dance group.

GG-
Thank you. I'm happy to make you smile. :)

Rethabile-
That's a beautiful painting. Thanks for sharing that.

urban butterfly said...

When is your book coming out, Sir? This was beautifully and magically written. I want to read MORE!! =)

No...serously!! lol

I've been doing alright. No complaints here. Just trying to live my life like it's golden!

Thanks for checking on me!

How are you and your family doing?

Stephen Bess said...

UB-
Book? I'll come out with my book immediately after yours. :)
My family is doing well. I thought of you this past weekend. I went to a wedding for people from Sierra Leone. We danced, ate, drank and danced some more. They put us all out of the hall at 2am. It was nice.

Writer on Board said...

"Work it out, Stevie! Work it out!"

Car Wash? Man, you took me back, Bess. You made me laugh. What is it with moms and making kids dance? My moms used to make me dance for other people. I thought I was James Brown, Michael Jackson, and John Travolta all rolled up into one. It took me years to learn that I was a house party favorite not because I could dance so good but because I couldn't and didn't know it. I was a dancing fool. Thanks for this.

urban butterfly said...

Sierra Leoneans weddings are so much fun! They love to eat, drink and PARTY!! lol

Stephen Bess said...

Alex-
lol! Yes, kids look completely ridiculous when they dance most times. They're fun to watch and I'm sure you were too. I know I was a sight!! :)

UB-
And you know this... :)

lyre said...

Two words: The Bump. One of my favorite family photos: My nephew at age 2 doin' da bump.

the prisoner's wife said...

oh! aside from the fact of being so true...i LOVED how this sounded. THIS was a good piece of writing bless. you should write a book of essays entitled "Morphological Confetti"! that would be hot.

now...getting to the dance...my son LOVES to dance & always he hasn't witnessed beloved & i two step, we had (and will have) plenty of whining to do...*smile*

Fabrizio said...

WOW! Sweet memories...!

I was lookin' at the cover that Rolling Stone made for the death of Marvin Gaye and suddenly i thought about your post.

Your blog is the African American Rolling Stone, man!
I like your posts more and more!

get zapped said...

This is so sweet. I can see little Stevie letting go, shaking his booty ;) And man, you brought me right back to my childhood with "Car Wash", now I can't get that song out of my head!

Have a great weekend!

Peace.

Ali's Zay said...

Such wonderful memories Brother Bess, and WOW, what a banner. I love it!
PS: I’m looking forward to handing you a copy of my book "Lovers Anonymous" in person.

Stephen Bess said...

Lyre-
Yes, I remember the "Bump" Those were the days. I can almost see the picture of your nephew. :)

Pwife-
Thank you. Funny, I was talking to someone about a similar idea concerning Morphological Confetti. Great idea! That's great that your son has that memory. I hope it stays with him until all are united. :)

Fab-
LOL! "African American Rolling Stone" I can dig that! Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy it. Peace brother.

Zapped-
lol! Yes, and did you check out the video? Great memories. :)

X-
Thanks brother. That would be cool. It would be a pleasure to finally meet you.

black feline said...

i have a little secret to confess...i do a mean salsa...lol wanna join me?

Stephen Bess said...

Blkfeline-
:) Yes, I'll let you lead.