Dance while everyone is watching

The second part of my Dutch program was a dance performance in which my big brother had an important role. He is more of an improv dancer but this was the real stuff, with choreographers who made him adhere to strict routines, until he wasn’t. Sometimes that was a good thing and his spontaneous addition was incorporated into the program, making it better or funnier, but sometimes he was told to try harder. All the dancers were over 55 years and the show was about aging – memories, loss and love. The oldest dancer was 80. It was a remarkable performance, receiving a standing ovation, especially from those in the same age bracket.

I was exceedingly proud seeing my brother dance and move across the stage with such energy and suppleness. At this same age, some 30 years ago, my father had entered a nursing home, recovering from a second stroke, his life about over.

It makes me ponder the lifestyle choices we made and make. I see many of us boomers – I am just on the tail end – realizing that the carelessness with which we treated our bodies some 40 years ago was irresponsible if not outright stupid. For some it is now too late. The lucky ones are looking for redemption in yoga, exercise, dance, personal trainers, diet changes, and abandoning all that’s addictive; and if they are not, they probably ought to.

The after party was a (mostly) family affair with two of my brothers plus wives, my nephew and his wife and my friend A. We had a wonderful dinner in a small Italian restaurant. It was one of the happier moments of this most recent trip, and doubly worth all the hard work in Rwanda and the long plane trips.

2 Responses to “Dance while everyone is watching”

  1. 1 Marnina Cowan February 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I loved reading this – I am an Israeli folk dancer myself and teach original choreography to a group of middle school kids which is then performed around the DC area. I always feel like I am dancing through life, both figuratively and literally. I’m glad this is something I learned how to do at such a young age.

    How cool to see so many adults dancing… I would love to see a video (if there was one!)

    Dancing in itself is incredibly addictive, but I like to think of it as a healthy addiction…

  2. 2 Herman Vriesendorp February 10, 2016 at 8:55 am

    You told me already during dinner in the Italian restaurant, but I feel me extra happy to read your enthousiastic blog (Dance while everyone is watching) about our performance Good [old] Times my tasteful life, last sunday in Korzo theater in The Hague.
    I feel me very privileged to be able and to be healthy enough to do so (so different from our father’s situation 30 years ago)
    Herman Vriesendorp.

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