Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"Dance like no one is watching..."

Every year my NM chicas and I used to go to the Women's Summer Solstice Celebration in the Jemez Mountains . It wasn't a man-hating kind of thing. It would be more accurate to compare it to an all guy fishing trip. We were simply having a celebration of our femininity deep in the mountainous woods.

It was an eventful weekend because they had workshops, a solstice sabbat and live music at night. I usually took all of the dance workshops. I generally enjoy dancing, but in this particular circumstance dancing gave me the rare experience of bliss within my own skin, complete acceptance and sheer joy within my own body. In this singular time and place I could dance with total abandon all night and not once have to imagine what I looked like while I was executing this or that move. I could just be...dancing.

It was there I learned a few Afro Brazilian dances to the orishas. One year it was particularly stormy, so the teacher had us do an elaborate dance to Changó with a virgin as the fulcrum of our wheel. (We spent a fair amount of time searching, but eventually we found a 10 year old girl who fit the bill.) After about 10 minutes of dancing, our virgin started squealing and worrying the ribbons on her flowered crown. "Look! Look!"

Simultaneously, all 24 of us looked up at the previously mud grey rainy sky. It had gathered itself into one giant scary thunderhead that was moving quickly to the east -- leaving us with sunshine and a freshly washed sky.

Cabio sile Changó!

(Jimi, possessed by Changó)

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