Women Dancing

music-594955_640 What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? That’s a question I now know the answer to, and I’d like to share it with you.

I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.

Then one morning as my friend and I were sitting in the lobby, one of the crew members put on some catchy dance music. I noticed one woman at a table in the corner start clapping and nodding her head to the beat and before long she stood and began to dance in her little space. Others applauded and, encouraged, she moved out to the main floor and began to dance in earnest.

A beautiful black woman, she wore robes that suggested Africa, and danced in a flowing, almost ballet style. When the music ended everyone cheered. She grinned and motioned for her elderly mother to join her. This lovely senior citizen rose and made her slow but dignified way towards the front. And, though somewhat bent and arthritic, when the music started . . . she  busted some moves! The crowd went wild and more women joined them on the dance floor.

The clincher was the Congo line.  When that started most of the women in the room joined in, and you’ve never so many glowing faces and smiling eyes. As the line wove it’s way into a circle, people took turns dancing through the middle, encouraged by the applause and support of the entire group. Even those who would ordinarily never dream of dancing in public found themselves having the time of their lives. We laughed and cheered each other on for almost an hour, until exhaustion set in and the crowd finally began to disperse.

After that, whenever we’d see each other on the ship we’d high five and grin. No words were necessary. It was, as my friend so aptly put it, a magical experience. What brings people of different cultures together? I think I know – music, dance, smiles, a shared love of connection, and the fact that we have a lot more in common than we realize. My new motto? Get up and dance!

Great Dance Music! http://talkaboutpopmusic.net/2015/05/16/lets-get-the-party-started/

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14 thoughts on “Women Dancing

  1. Alright, this is why I miss you and wish you’d post more often. This is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks HIldy. Glad you caught the vision. I’m trying to get back into the groove and post a couple of times a week. I just need to find more hours in the day. Thanks!

  3. Awesome. Sounds delightful. Even stodgy me likes to shake to the music…maybe jiggle is a better word. I’ve always believed music is a universal language. This post put a smile on my face. Thank you. 🙂

      • I have an itch to visit another interesting place but can’t decide which one. So many to choose from and since I am frugal, I want another reasonably priced one like the one to China. 😮
        Where are you planning to visit next?

      • We love cruising, and are planning another one for two years from now. Not sure where the destination will be – I’d love to go to Croatia, or Venice or, or Greece . . . like you said, so many options.

  4. Nice story – but where were the men on this cruise? I would have gotten up and danced. I’ve never been able to resist a good Congo line.

  5. Hi Bob – Actually there were a few brave men who joined in the fun. I wish you’d been there. Gotta love a guy who loves to dance.!

  6. Augh! Only seeing this now! Brilliant story. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to someone different, you’d be surprised how much you have in common and how you can still communicate! My best friends in Ireland are Italian and Japanese – yep, we have no idea what we are talking about sometimes but it is still lots of laughs (and dancing on occasion)!

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