Imperfect but full of joy—that’s us, the Crows Feet Dance Collective. Forty women, average age 55, range 39–76, skilled and unskilled.
Last weekend we performed at the Tempo Dance Fest at Q Theatre in Auckland. If you are a New Zealander, you’ll understand that performing in our biggest city was rather an intimidating prospect for a community collective —and thrilling. But the organisation was excellent, the theatre a friendly space, and the audiences warm and enthusiastic. We had a marvellous time.
And go find a chance to dance if you can. Trust me, it’s never too late; for example, I joined the Crows at 66, more than ten years ago, and while I’m no star and I often stumble, I manage very well indeed. Enough to get the joy of dancing, and that magic performance buzz, and a cluster of truly remarkable friends.
Dancing is a language, another way of writing into life
A language is a method of conveying complex ideas and emotions. It has representations of information, and rules for how the representations can be combined. As a means of conveying ideas and emotions, with or without recourse to sound, dance language draws upon similar places and thought processes in the brain as verbal language. Dance, like verbal language, has vocabulary (locomotion and gestures in dance), grammar or syntax (rules for putting the vocabulary together and justifying how one movement can follow another), and semantics (meaning). Verbal language strings together sequences of words, and dance strings together sequences of movement to make phrases and sentences. Meaning may be story-telling or abstract, playing with form or chance.
Judith Lynne Hanna, PhD, is the author of “Learning to Dance: The Brain’s Cognition, Emotion, and Movement” Judith Lynne Hanna, PhD.