Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Golden Dancers

Caress Someone’s Soul

By Elita Sohmer Clayman

In Corinthians, Chapter 13, it is stated:

Love is patient, love is kind
Love is not jealous; it does not put on airs
Love is never rude. Love is not pompous.
Love never gives up
Love is eternal
Love endures all things
Love is not quick tempered and does not brood
Love does not rejoice in what is wrong

The whole thing was recited at my great nephew’s wedding ceremony last month in Michigan. He, being Jewish, married a Christian girl, and they had a deacon there for her religion and a rabbi for his religion.

The rabbi said all marriages are intermarriages because even though it is said that opposites attract, people are different and that is really ‘intermarriage.’ That is really true and a different assumption on marriage.

I find that a very interesting theory. It is true that everyone is different and that is what makes the world go round. I find that in everyday life being different is a good thing. If everyone were the same then it would be dull and uninteresting.

My son married an Asian girl and our two families have bonded in a deep and loving way. I did not know what to expect upon meeting them and they in meeting us. We joined immediately at the first encounter and our love for our children, my son and their daughter brought together two faiths and two cultures.

There was no fear on either side. We were there to be receptive to our children and their choice of a mate. Our love for our child did not put on airs or be pompous. Our love believes all things and hopes all things and is eternal.

We can also apply this to our dancing activity. When we are at a dance, we should never be rude or pompous to a new person attending the dance. We should not be impatient when they are trying to do a step or dance among others on the dance floor. We should not act as if we are rejoicing if they falter; we should not rejoice if they get upset over something they are doing. We should tell them not to give up or go home if they get frustrated. We should tell them that once they learn to dance, it will eternally be bringing them happiness.

Many new dancers get so unhappy when they cannot perform the way they want when they are new at the dance party. They may not be able to tell the type of song being played and they may get irritated if someone corrects them when asked to dance with a stranger.

Many years ago there was a man named Jerry (not my husband Jerry) who would come to the dances and constantly correct his wife if she made what he thought was an error while they danced. He would call her to the side of the dance floor and show her the mistake and correct her in front of people. She was a timid lady and did not like being shown the errors Jerry thought she was doing. Finally, I heard he built a dance floor and an addition to his home so they could practice because he thought himself better than her in their dancing hobby.

He was truly obnoxious. I saw him dance with other ladies and do the same thing. One of them never came back to the studio because he made her feel insignificant and incompetent. She was there for pleasure and not to be called down by the likes of him. After a while, the owner cautioned him not to ever do that again to anybody including his wife or else he would be banned from that studio.

As Corinthians says, love is patient and love is kind. That is what we experienced dancers should be to our fellow new dancers so that they rejoice and believe they can do all things. Corinthians also says that love should endure all things; we can make these folks endure the beginning of learning to dance and put them in good spirits while they accomplish it.

I heard a line on television: “We should caress each others’ souls.” How lovely if we all could at least once a day or once a week caress another person’s soul to leave them feeling full of spirit.

Robert Jacob Meyer, the former editor of Amateur Dancers magazine for twenty-four years and my editor for seventeen of them, wrote me the following in an email recently: ‘May your outers reflect the treasures of your inners.’ I took it to mean that what I write in my articles is reflecting the joys and happiness I have in my dancing mind and in my normal life.

If we all could treasure our inner thoughts, then we will be caressing others too and making peace in their souls.

Love is never rude and not quick tempered like the man Jerry. We should remember to rejoice that the new dancer is there and protect him or her by being kind, patient and helpful. Then we have caressed someone’s soul and they will continue to dance and we will feel good about ourselves because we were patient, not rude. We have rejoiced in the truth that ballroom dancing can enhance a person’s life and we have helped a stranger revel in this.

John Quincy Adams said, “The power to do.” We have the power to show that love is patient and love is kind. By encouraging their soul to dance and to enjoy the rewards of dancing, we have shown a different form of love. To dance with your feet and arms while using our minds is surely what Adams meant. We have the power to do and doing something for another person is pure gold and another form of love.

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