Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving I've been thinking alittle bit about what I'm thankful for and a conversation got me thinking about my family. A friend was commenting on how a young, male relative had just started taking dance class and his father and grandfather were not supportive of this choice. I started dancing when I was 9 years old and have continued to dance continously since then without ever once feeling pressure from any of my family to stop. In fact, my family has been amazingly supportive of my choice to dance. But, and this I only recently realized, I come from a family of men who dance.
In the 1970s my father and mother competed in ballroom dancing and into the 80s they continued to teach it - they still like to go out dancing occasionally. My father is retired now, but has found a second career as a fitness/aerobic instructor and greatly enjoys the more 'dancey' versions of aerobics. My father's father and mother, once he retired, became avid square dancers - sometimes going to 4-5 dances a week. So, the fact that I danced never seemed odd to anyone in my family. It's true the kind of dancing I did growing up (jazz, tap, ballet, breakin') was different from the social dancing they did. And certainly the kind of dancing I do now (modern, post-modern, contact improvisation) is very different. But, in my family, there has always been an appreciation of the body moving, of dancing. I am so grateful to come from a family of men who dance - it is quite amazing.