For a number of years I ran a dance experience, yes it was a business and often a lot of hard work. It gave me great pleasure to meet so many new people and through dance I saw their lives change.
Many of those new dancers became life long friends who are very special too me.
I loved the small groups that I taught as I could see the difference in their dancing and confidence in just one afternoon.
Dancing also helped me meet my wonderful partner who has stood beside me through my illness and today encourages me to reach for my ambitions, even if it makes it painful for himself.
It became time to move on for me, leave the business behind and reach for a dream, an adventure of living some where new, no ties, no history, a chance to learn about me.
A gathering was held and towards the end I noticed that Kevin had become nervous! He is a tall, strong, gentle and sensitive man. I’d not seen him this nervous since the first night he came to a dance class!
He asked permission to read a poem, he had written and I was touched and honored as I’d always been a little bit jealous when Kevin had given a poem to someone…..
Teach me to dance.
I came to dance ‘Intimidated’, like every other soul
And watched the lesson you gave with Zest!
To help us achieve our goal.
The confidence you conveyed to us to help us through our stife
I couldn’t get my head around to save my bloody life!
A basic into a sway, No! Left hand high and right this way
And your foot should be pointing the other way!
My heads in bits, ‘I think I’ll come another day’.
And so I did. I came back for more,
head still battered, arms still ached
Knees all twisted and feet still sore
With trepidation I stepped upon this thing we still call
the ‘Dancing Floor’.
Then the shouting came.
‘Everyone now onto the floor, stomach in,
chest out and hold that core’.
And one other thing I always maintain,
‘hold your partner secure and KEEP THAT FRAME’
Obviously it all sunk in and before much longer
An armjive, a step across into a backspin
and confidence grew from deep within.
You showed faith in me, so what could I do, when you asked,
I was honoured, to be part of your crew
The moves I’d amassed and the things that I knew,
in a nutshell, to be honest,
it all came from you!
(But sadly all that is no more,
no booming voice calling us all to the floor)
But one thing we can never dismiss,
all the wonderful memories that were made from this
when you grabbed my hand, I pulled in my diaphragm
‘Oh No! Gill’s got me up for Candyman’
Like a demon you dragged me onto that floor
And danced me flat out, till exhausted and sore.
You’d smile and say ‘Keep up with the dance,
think of the weight loss and how you’ll tighten your pants’
Then you’d stride away whilst I captured my breathe,
staring for another victim,
as I stared at death…
For those were my views as I slumped in my seat
‘She’s the Vampire of dance and I’m just another piece of meat!’
Now don’t take offence at the things I have said,
you didn’t walk away,
you had your wings spread!
As a teacher you were loud, outrageous, flamboyant,
a nutter and a terrible flirt
and at times I wondered how I held onto my shirt
But you know all I’ve said is in good jest
To sum it all up, you were simply the best!
You became a great friend, who taught me to dance
And you turned my life around when you took a chance.
So I’m indebted to you Gill for the rest of my life.
Because without your enthusiastic passion,
I would never have stayed
And I would never have met my beloved wife.
By Kevin Lyth.
Photo here of me listening to Kevin read the poem, whilst sat on George’s knee. My very understanding partner looks on!
Kevin is also a very talented photographer & I have used many of his pictures in my blog & for that I thank him for his generosity of spirit.
The poem may start with me but it is actually more about the positive change that can happen in everyone’s life,
when they take a chance to do something different.
Kevin, as did many others, took a chance on learning to dance. Everyone who learned to dance showed courage, determination, strength, an enquiring mind and a sense of fun. Music moves the spirit. Laughter frees the soul. Dancing and touching connect us as human beings.
Dancers then took those skills, which for many of them, it was the first time that they realised that they had such skills. They moved on in their lives and I was thankful to have been a small instrument in the changes they made.
Without those people being willing to learn, I would never have learned so much about myself. I would never have had the amazing support system I needed in times of trouble. I would never have the amazing special friendships I cherish so deeply today.
So to Kevin, Helena his lovely wife, and all the dancers and other wonderful friends I have made along the way, I say
My life changed too
Thank You. XX