Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oh, How I Love the Library, Part One of Infinity: The Dance Edition!

 Library's are some of my all time favorite places in all the world. They provide endless hours of interesting entertainment. Here is something I recommend. Go to your local library, go to the section on books about dance, and peruse the pictures. It is hard not to smile or be wowed by the joy and artistry of dance!




The super old pictures are my favorites. I imagine this book is from the twenties and that this lady lived out in the country where she made-up quirky dance moves. All of her dances told stories (like this one about an old man). Then one day, two cultural anthropologists studying small towns in the mountain villages of America came across her. They were wowed by her novelty and her small town, aw-shucks charm. The two anthropologists abandoned all notions of scholarly pursuits. Money signs glowed in their eyes, they thought they found a star! They took the country dancer to the big city where they dressed her up as a sailor and made her the star of her own show. For six months straight, she sold out theaters to sophisticated city dwellers, looking to reconnect to their more innocent, less jaded roots. But the country dancer was a passing fad and soon faded into obscurity. Her passing fame did not bother the country dancer. She had never wanted to be a star. Every time she was on that stage, she missed the birds, the trees and her country friends, who use to play the best music on their old guitars and banjos for her to dance along to. The country dancer felt free when she could finally leave and go back to the life she had always had. Now, the only thing that remains of her stardom is one picture of her preforming one of her dances, 'The Old Man.' At least, this is my guess about the back story of this picture and dance. But of course, it could be something entirely different!


This disco lady is so glamorous. I like how her hair is glowing in the light and her skirt looks to be caught in mid flutter in a gust of wind. As a person who really likes to dance but is quite a clumsy dancer, I think confidence in your dance moves goes a long way. This 'disco dyonosoaring' lady is full of confidence!


These dance moves definitely look a little goofy, but that is another thing wonderful about dance. Dancing gives you permission to be goofy. You can tell by the dancer's smile that they are delighted. I will say that the guy dancing in the shower on the left seems like he is engaging in an ill-advised activity. It is good to find something you love so much that you do not want to stop, but let's leave the dancing to dry surfaces. 


Full confession, I checked out this book when I first moved to Seattle because I wanted to learn the Charleston. I love the twenties and their is something about the Charleston. It is a cute and peppy dance! I never learned the whole dance, but sometimes I cycle in my modified versions of Charleston moves into my free-style, not-at-all-graceful-or-coordinated, dancing for fun.



I love the yellowed pages and the graceful dancers.


These dancers are using their flowy outfits as part of their dance. The layers of swaying cloth add to the grace of their postures. Another thing I love, when old, old library books have crumbling, yellowed pieces of tape, repairing a tear from a long time ago.


  My favorite part of my 'dance-book-perusal' was when I found a beautiful note:


I blacked out the person's email. He could have easily uploaded his request on the internet, but instead he chose to put this note in an old dance book at the library. There is something very romantic and idealistic about it. I hope someone who wanted to learn swing dancing found it and contacted him. This note was written a year ago this month. By now, he and his dancing companion could have fallen in love over a shared joy of dance and gotten married. Or maybe he didn't fall in love but found the perfect dance partner. Either way, a note left in a library book is such a sweet and lonely way to reach out to the world. 

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