It's not *really* reliable joy. Sometimes you get a partner who can suck the energy right out of your space or maybe it's you or the chemistry or something but you might be in some sort of zone - or I might be, I can't really speak for anybody else (don't want to either) and suddenly I'm dancing with somebody who's completely immune to my charms (or got some energy) and my smile hits the skids (happens but it's rare) and my swing turns into a walk, not because I'm slowing down to meet someone's natural pace but because the energy is literally not. there. for whatever reason. Or I'm being brought to a hard stop and there's disapproval in the hard stop. I hate that hate that hate that and most of you have no idea what I'm talking about but in the dancing it's where the male role steps firmly into place (there's all sorts of conversation about male and female, lead and follow roles not really being about following and leading) and I come to a screeching halt. Worse case I start tripping over my feet and forget the dance. That's really awful because then *I'm* feeding crap into the space (this happens when the energy is up too but somehow when I'm laughing, everyone is laughing and it's totally ok because EVERYBODY DOES THAT SHIT) Anyway. It stops being a give and take and becomes, OK, I'm going to get through the next 12 minutes and keep the energy level up to the best of my ability and then I'm going to find the next partner as fast as I can and raise the roof. This is rare (for me); I just want it noted. Almost always I *am* reliable joy. Almost.
So I have a few favorite partners. I'm going to post them without permission. I figure if they're on facebook and 500 of my friends and their friends can see them then they're pretty much public domain. The first 8 are a set although I'll point out another in the background. I don't have any of SM and me dancing. I'm not sure why. We used to dance a lot and we still do when he's in Branford. Somebody ought to take his picture and then maybe he'll let me post it. I do draw the line at posting photographs of people I talk about without permission. I can't post NM because he doesn't want any closeups.
Here is a series of 8 with my friend J. He *is* reliable joy. By the time I got to him or he got to me I'd had at least one, maybe two of those dances and then I had this and then probably V, he's in the green shirt behind us in one, I'll point him out and he's another of my favorites and I was very, very happy again. This series is wonderful. It's all in my face.
Now look down the hall at the kid in the green shirt. That's V. He's not new but he hasn't been dancing all that long either. Every time I dance with him, he's better, he's learned new tricks, he's willing to try anything with me and he's never hurt me. On the other hand, I'm hard to hurt. I did come away one night with a really sore shoulder but it was perfectly fine the next morning. Saturday night was the first time I'd danced with him in well over a month, maybe five weeks or six? I don't know, WAY too long. Anyway, he was willing to throw me all over the place and some things worked and some things did not but it was a lot like dancing with SM in that he feels safe trying things with me he might not try with someone else because he won't feel like an ass if he screws them up with me and I won't feel like a complete failure if I don't understand what he's asking of me. He always assumes it's his fault. I always tell him it's not (because it's nobody's fault). We almost aways try again and I don't think either of us has every given a rat's ass about what anybody at the grange thinks about us. And THAT is damn refreshing. For the record, I don't believe we've been late or into anyone's space either. That's important.
Anyway, these next are from my home dance in Branford where every time I go home I remember how much I'm loved. I remember how much Elizabeth is loved. Elizabeth was recently banned from the Hartford dance for the sin of not being 14. It's sort of a long story but the bottom line is they didn't want to deal with an incident back in June when she was lifted inappropriately by a man during a dance. Elizabeth isn't a child anymore in terms of being a dancer (and she's nearly 5' and weighs 80 lbs so I'm NOT sure where you get off picking her up like a little kid and calling it that) but they lumped her into that category and banned children under the age of 14. She had an appropriately adult response. She'll be eligible in December 2014 but will never go back to a place where they punish the victim. Screw 'em.
Love and joy. Sometimes unmitigated... the absolute audacity of it all.