in an effort to write more in 2012, i’ve signed up for figment‘s daily themes. i’ve been diligently churning out quick burst of words based on the varied writing prompts, and plan to continue the daily exercise for the three months that the themes will be offered.
i’m challenging myself to share at least five of my pieces on the figment site, and i’d like to post at least twice as many here. so from now until march 30, each week i will choose one of my responses to the daily prompts to publish here on ~okieOLIO~ for “figment friday.”
PROMPT: Using third person, write about a moment when a character who usually feels (and perhaps is) painfully awkward temporarily feels singularly beautiful, handsome, sexy, and at ease.
her feet literally drag the ground as she hauls her lanky frame through the front door. the scrape of her heels on the hardwood floors makes her cringe a little, but the weariness from fighting her slouchy posture all day wins out.
as she passes the living room, she shrugs off the tailored blazer, but her bracelet gets lodged so thoroughly in the sleeve that she is forced to violently shake her arm until the entire jacket is dangling inside out from one wrist. she frees herself with a jerk, not caring for the welfare of the obstinate piece of jewelry, and both accessories fall to the floor. with a sigh she kicks off her shoes and allows them to join the pile.
she shuffles by the kitchen, not the slightest bit interested in dinner. her stomach is still churning from the humiliation of the incident at the office that day. if only she could maintain control over her ungainly limbs while in public!
safely inside her familiar bedroom, she instinctively reaches toward the docked iPod, and in seconds is rewarded with soothing notes filling the room. stumbling out of her restrictive garments, the tension in her body begins to release in response to the music.
the almost imperceptible sway of her shoulders slowly spreads to the rest of her. the sharp elbows and knees that usually define her stiff gait are suddenly graceful and elegant in the imagination of the girl overcome by movement. her twirling and bounding throughout the room builds with the song, and soon she is breathless and flushed.
impulsively she grabs the silky scarf from top of her dresser and flings it over her head with enthusiasm. a few heedless giggles escape as it floats down, and she snatches it from the air before it flutters out of reach. draping the delicate cloth around her curveless waist, she executes a clumsy sashay across the floor, swinging her hips flirtatiously to the rhythm of the song. she can feel herself blushing as if the eyes of a dozen admiring men were on her.
as the music fades, she falls gleefully onto the down comforter with a contented grin–one that has not shown itself since the previous night’s dance.
maybe it’s because i’m a lifelong okie who can’t resist a real cowboy. maybe it’s because i’m a sucker for skinny guys with no rhythm get out on the dance floor anyway. perhaps i just get a kick out of corny one-liners delivered with a texan drawl.
whatever the case, i fell fast and hard for professional bull rider ty murray after the first week watching him on dancing with the stars. his genuinely amenable personality and “git-er-done” energy won me over immediately, and as an added bonus he was paired with one of my favorite dancers from so you think you can dance - chelsie hightower. i started watching the show to root for steve-o, (who serendipitously was paired with the only other sytycd pro, lacey schwimmer), and when he left the competition i was hooked cheering for ty & chelsie.
i’m a few days behind on watching dwts this week because of other pressing matters, but now that i’m catching up i’m sad to discover that my favorite couple has been voted off. bummed, but not surprised, because the “king of the cowboys” was certainly not the most skilled dancer. he was undeniably the most improved, thanks to his attitude and commitment (and chelsie’s teaching), and fan votes incredibly carried him through to the semi-finals. but now that he’s out i’m honestly not that interested in who wins the finale. they’re all good.
so as a tribute to that cute rodeo champ, who charmed everyone and thankfully entertained me during the agonizing wait for this season of sytycd, here are some of his best quotes i collected from the show.
“chelsie says in this dance she’s the bull. if all bulls looked like her, there’d be alot more bull-riders in this world.”
“my cha cha was really just a cha, ’cause I forgot half of it.”
(after shaking his hips in front of his wife, Jewel): “the score wasn’t great, but i’m hoping the solo pays dividends later.”
(while she’s riding a mechanical bull) “man, chelsie, stiffin’ up a little bit, you dancers are so fluid!”
“salsa is supposed to be like a party, but it’s really just a pain in the ass with a whole lotta steps ya gotta remember.”
and the most profound of them all:
“dancing is kinda like bull-riding: you’re never really ready, it’s just your turn.”
just one more week until the premier of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE!! it’s the only reality show i’ve ever really gotten into, and i honestly watch the recordings repeatedly when the show is not airing. the sheer talent of the dancers and choreographers involved resonates strongly with my love of dance.
I praise the dance, for it frees people
from the heaviness of matter and binds
the isolated to community.
I praise the dance, which demands everything:
health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.
Dance is a transformation of space, of time, of people,
who are in constant danger of becoming all brain,
will, or feeling.
Dancing demands a whole person, one who is
firmly anchored in the center of his life, who is
not obsessed by lust for people and things
and the demon of isolation in his own ego.
Dancing demands a freed person, one who vibrates
with the equipoise of all his powers.
I praise the dance.
O man, learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven
will not know what to do with you.
i’ve had this poem displayed by my desk for about a decade now. it conveys so perfectly what dance is to me that i have kept it in the same makeshift cardboard frame that i crafted in high school and have carefully transplanted it from workspace to workspace throughout college and a handful of jobs. it still has the ability to affect me profoundly every time i read it.
dance is the purest form of expression in my opinion. it is one of the only art forms that does not require anything else outside of yourself. writing and painting and sculpting and drawing and building and designing and all necessitate instruments and materials to express whatever stirs inside you. those expressive outlets have inherent limitations that define the art form.
dance can burst forth from the innermost part of your spirit without regard to channeling the release into a specific medium unless you want to.
while dance can be entertaining or beautiful or touching to an audience, that’s not what expressive movement is about. we should all take a lesson from david, who danced passionately to show his joy and adoration for the Lord. he couldn’t contain himself:“in God‘s presence i’ll dance all i want! he chose me and made me prince over Israel. oh yes, I’ll dance to God‘s glory—more recklessly even than this. and as far as i’m concerned…i’ll gladly look like a fool…” 2 samuel 6:21 the message.
one of my favorite tv shows is so you think you can dance. the talent on that show is amazing, from the incredibly versatile dancers to the utterly creative choreographers. (although i maintain that you don’t need skill to express yourself through dance, exhibited by some of the auditions with those entirely lost in the dance, though quite without technique of any kind. beautiful.)
the choreographer on sytycd that embodies this purity of dance for me is mia michaels. she seems to honestly understand what dancing can be when you are not concentrating on specific steps and counts. the pieces she creates usually leave a profound impression, but i’m not sure many understand what makes them compelling. i believe it’s this freedom and release of ego and self-consciousness that st. augustine writes about that distinguishes true dance as a genuine form of expression.