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Poem: "Everyone Can Dance" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Everyone Can Dance"
This poem is spillover from the April 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from DW user Inky_magpie.  It also fills the "dancing" square in my 2-1-19 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest.  This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them.  The rate is $0.25/line, so $5 will reveal 20 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.
So far sponsors include: book_worm5, wyld_dandelyon, ng_moonmoth, mdlbear, tigerbright, DW user shadowdreamer, general fund, janetmiles,

1081 lines, Buy It Now = $270.50
Amount donated = $132
Verses posted = 181 of 342 

Amount remaining to fund fully = $118.50
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"Everyone Can Dance"


[Monday, August 3, 2015]

They had discovered that
a fun and convenient way
to make a meal for four was
letting each person fix one dish.

This morning, Luci was cooking
red bean pancakes while Shiv
made garden scrambled eggs.
Tolli fried sausage links and bacon;
Simon toasted a whole loaf of bread
to spread with rhubarb-strawberry jam.

"Mine's done," Shiv announced.

"Mine too," Tolli said. Luci and
Simon were finishing the last of theirs.

By the time they all sat down around
the dining room table, the whole house
was filled with delicious smells.

Shiv promptly rolled his pancakes
around sausage links to make
pigs-in-a blanket. He liked
the combination of flavors,
even though it made Luci
wrinkle her nose at him.

Simon was shoveling
garden scramble on his.

Tolli took some of everything,
but like Luci, ate them separately.

Shiv just concentrated on
stuffing his face as fast as he
could. The food was so good.

He'd thrown all colors of tomatoes,
peppers, and onions into the eggs
along with fresh basil and sage leaves,
and the scramble had turned out perfect.

He listened to his family chattering
around him about the house and
the horses and whether to make
a shopping run into town.

Shiv gave a happy sigh.

It was nice to be home again --
all of his homes -- after working
in Motor City for part of the summer.

He liked Ricasso and his Spadonari,
still missed Pain's Gray in fact, but
Motor City wasn't where he belonged.

"Simon and I would like to ask you two
a favor," Tolli said, looking at Shiv and Luci.

"Whatever you need," Luci said easily.

"Uh ... what kind of favor?" Shiv said,
not about to throw caution to the wind.

"We want you to be part of our wedding,
not just as guests, but part of the activities,"
Tolli explained. "This is an offer, though,
not an obligation -- it's up to you."

"Of course we will," Luci said.
"I mean, I will. You will, too,
won't you, Shiv-ya?"

"I dunno," Shiv hedged.
"Me and social stuff ...
not the best combination."

"That was true in the past,"
Tolli said. "Is it still true now?"

"We do have other options if you
don't want to attend the event,"
Simon hastened to add. "We've
got some friends who really can't
do crowds. You could make art
for the invitations, or whatever."

"You do all right at Blues Moon,"
Luci pointed out. "Or is this different?"

"Yeah, that's right," Shiv said. "I kinda
forgot about that. Blues Moon is home,
though -- I know what I'm doing there, and
if I overload anyway, then I can tap out
and someone will cover for me. I
dunno if I could do a wedding."

"First things first," Tolli said.
"Would you like to try?"

Shiv gave it careful thought.
"Yeah, I think I would."

"Then we just need
to make sure you have
what you need," Simon said.
"We'll have a separate room for
the introvert party, of course,
and another for a quiet room."

"That'll help," Shiv said.
"That is, if you don't mind me
ducking out of the party stuff."

"We want you to have a good time,
Shiv," said Tolli. "If that means you
need a break, then take one. If it
means you spend twenty minutes
at the wedding, that's fine too."

Shivers raced down Shiv's spine.
It was still hard to remember that
these people would take care of him
instead of picking on him if he couldn't
do the same things as everyone else.

"Okay," Shiv said. "What kind
of stuff do you want me to do?"

Tolli and Simon shared a grin.
"We were hoping you'd help us
with dancing," Simon said.

"Dancing?" Shiv said. "I'm
not that good at it yet. I haven't
had much chance to learn. I like it,
though, what I've seen of it so far."

"I know you like Renaissance dances,
that's why we're including you in this offer,"
Tolli said. "Of course, Luci's a pro, so
learning something new shouldn't be
too much of a challenge for her."

"A new dance?" Luci said,
bouncing in her dining chair.
"Yes, please! What kind?"

"Wheelchair dancing for sure,"
Simon said. "Adaptive dancing
in general, if possible. We know
a lot of vets, with different disabilities,
so we want to accommodate a wide range
of needs. Everyone can dance, if they
have what they need to make it work."

"You can dance?" Shiv blurted.
"I thought your sport was racing!"

Simon laughed. "That too," he said.
"I like dancing because it's romantic."

Tolli was staring at him with a sappy look.

Just like that, Shiv wanted to help them
so that Simon could dance at his wedding,
dance with anyone he wanted to. "I'll do it."

"When can we start?" Luci said, eager
to dig into a new kind of dance.

"Soon as we put the dishes in
the sink," Tolli said, and they all
scrambled to clear the table.

"The plan is to do a sample lesson,
then individual dances, as preparation
for the wedding itself," Simon said.

"Then at the wedding, we'll offer
another lesson so guests can learn,"
Tolli said. "Dancing with someone
in a wheelchair is a bit different than
dancing with an upright partner, but
anyone can learn how to do it."

"That sounds fun!" Luci said,
hastily filling the sink with water
and soap to soak the dishes.

"So, what dances?" Shiv said.
"Like Renaissance dances?"

"Some of those too, if people
are interested, but mostly
ballroom dances," Tolli said.
"We want to include the stuff
usually done at weddings."

"We're offering a range of
levels, though," Simon said.
"Waltz is easy, jive and cha-cha
are in between, and tango is hard."

"I dunno about waltz," Shiv said.
"I know a little jive, and Dr. G says
that setbacks in therapy aren't
a disaster, they're a cha-cha."

"Exactly!" Simon said.

"I already know waltzes,
slow and fast," Luci said.
"I can cha-cha too. I have
only seen jive a few times
at Blues Moon, and I tried
tango but it's not a favorite."

"It's up to you which dances
you want to do," Tolli said.
"We just want to give people
plenty of options at the wedding."

"I'd like to learn jive," Shiv said shyly.
"I've seen it at work too. It looks fun.
I could probably figure out a waltz."

"Tolli and I can show you all of them,"
Simon said. "Then pick which ones
you want to explore in more depth."

Shiv thought about it, trying to recall
dances he had seen in the past.

"Uh ... crap," he said. "There
might be a slight problem here."

"What's that?" Tolli said as he
put the last of the dishes in the sink.

"Remember me telling you about
my new body art?" Shiv said.
"The cutwork on my shoulder
isn't even a week old yet. It's
scabbed over just fine, but
still tender if I bump it."

"So a hand on your shoulder
would hurt," Luci guessed.
"Ai-ya! We must be careful."

"Okay, first step in adaptive dance:
find out your partner's no-go moves,"
Tolli said. "Shiv, what can't you do?
What's your current range of motion?"

"Almost back to normal," Shiv said.
"It only pulls if I stretch both my arms
too far forward or up at the same time.
Mostly I just try not to bump it or
lean back on anything too hard."

"Okay, so no touching your --
where is it exactly?" Tolli said.

"Left shoulderblade," Shiv said.
"It's about palm-size. You wanna
see it? I haven't changed the bandage
this morning, it's kinda hard to reach."

"Would you like a hand with that?"
Tolli offered. "You know I have
advanced first aid training."

Shiv weighed his general dislike
of letting anyone behind him against
the hassle of doing it himself.

It had been a lot easier
when he let Dr. G do it.

"Yeah, okay," Shiv decided.
"We should do that before we
start dancing. I'll run upstairs;
I've got a kit just for this."

"I'll come with you," Tolli said.
"Might as well do it there."

Shiv jogged up the stairs
with Tolli right behind him.

He picked up the wound care kit
that Thriver had packed for him --
antiseptic soap, scar care cream,
bandages, tape, blunt scissors, and
so on all tucked into a plastic case.

This way he didn't have to dig around
in a full-size first aid kit when he needed
exactly the same stuff every time.

Shiv moved his box of toiletries
to the bathroom counter, then
put the first aid kit beside it.

He peeled off his t-shirt
and straddled the toilet,
crossing his arms over
the tank and pillowing
his head on his hands.

"Okay, I'm ready," he said.

"I'm here," Tolli said, and
Shiv heard the swish of water
as he washed his hands.

Tolli's touch was brisk and
efficient, as gentle as Dr. G's
but not as leisurely. He washed
and dried the skin, coated it with
cream, then bandaged it again.

Shiv got so lost in trying to pin down
the differences between them that
he startled when Tolli patted him.

"Steady there, we're all done,"
Tolli said as he packed up the kit.

"Thanks," Shiv said, shrugging
back into his t-shirt again.

He felt a little bit unsettled,
but it was nowhere near as
bad as it could have been.

Shiv scurried back downstairs,
rolling his shoulders to shake off
that odd, unsettled sensation.

Tolli came down behind him.
"Head to the living room," he said.
"We can move the furniture aside,
and then it makes a good dance floor."

When they got there, though, it was
all cleared away and Luci was running
a broom briskly over the boards.

"Ready when you are," Simon said,
eagerly rubbing his hands together.

"Luci, do you mind if we include
all the details for Shiv?" Tolli asked.

"Go ahead," she said. "Simon told me
you would like help teaching guests at
the wedding, so I can use a refresher."

"Teaching?" Shiv squawked. "You
didn't say anything about that!"

"I said it to Luci, because she
already teaches yoga, and teaching
adaptive dance isn't all that different,"
Simon explained. "Neither of you have
to do anything that makes you uncomfortable."

"Okay," Shiv said. "Just remember that I'm
not sure I can even handle the event!"

"Understood," Tolli said. "Ready?"

"Yeah, I guess," Shiv said. He had
liked the Renaissance dances, after all,
so this kind shouldn't suck either.

It wouldn't be like the stupid P.E.
had been before. It would not.

"In ballroom dancing, there
are two roles, lead and follow,"
Tolli said. "They used to be called
'man' and 'woman' but we know
better now. You can dance with
a man and a woman, two men, or
two women -- but you always
have a leader and a follower."

"Somebody's gotta be the boss,"
Shiv said. "Okay, I got it."

"In wheelchair dancing, there
are rollers in wheelchairs and
walkers on feet," Tolli continued.
"You can have a roller and a walker,
or two rollers, because with two walkers
it's not wheelchair dance anymore!"

"It can still be adaptive dance,
though, if someone's missing an arm
or can't see or whatever," Simon said.
"Ideally, we'd like to accommodate
whoever wants to dance."

"That's a lot of different ways
to mix partners," Shiv said.
"How do you figure it all out?"

"Focus on lead and follow,"
Tolli said. "Everything else
revolves around that. Moves
are a little different for rollers
and walkers, but we'll all be
moving to the same music."

"Watch the lapels," Luci added.
"You may have seen those, when
people pair up for jive. Lead wears
a flower or pin on the left, follow on
the right, and if you can do either role
then you put one on each side."

Shiv recalled the dance floor
at Blues Moon and how everyone
seemed to move together even if it
wasn't always a choreographed dance.

"Okay, that makes sense," he said.
"I dunno if I can do it, but I'll try."

"Shiv, this is social dancing, not
a competition," Tolli said. "It doesn't
matter if you get it perfect, it only
matters that people have fun.
Besides, I've seen you dance at
faires; I have every confidence
in your ability to learn this."

"That makes one of us,"
Shiv muttered, looking down.

"Two," Simon said instantly,
and Luci added, "Three."

"You're outvoted, Shiv,"
Tolli said cheerfully.

"Here, take one of these,"
Simon said, holding out
several enamel flowers.

"Where should I put it?"
Shiv said. He was wearing
a t-shirt, not a suitcoat, and
his shoulders hunched at
the thought of hands.

"You're protecting
your shoulder," Tolli said.
"What's worrying you?"

"I seen people dancing
with their hands over
each other's shoulders,"
Shiv said. "Not today."

"There's one obvious way
around that," Luci said.
"Let Shiv follow."

"Good idea, if he'll
go for it -- some guys
are real opinionated on
this topic," Tolli said. "Shiv,
do you want to lead or follow?"

"I can't lead!" Shiv squeaked.
"I don't know what I'm doing!"

"Then we'll teach you the follow role,
and that should keep everyone's hands
well away from your shoulder," Tolli said.
"So you put the pin on the right side of
your shirt, below your collarbone."

Shiv fumbled it into place.
"Okay, I think I got it."

He couldn't help noticing
everyone else wore two pins.

"Great, now take a look at my chair,"
Simon said. "You can use almost any kind
of wheelchair for dancing, but some work
better than others. I like a sporty style for
everyday use, so it works great. All you
have to do is watch out for foot clearance."
He wiggled his toes for emphasis.

"No problem," Luci said.

"The main difference in
a dancing wheelchair is that
it has tiny little front wheels and
the footrest is almost straight down,"
Simon said. "Otherwise it's similar."

"We're planning to rent a set of
dancing wheelchairs for the wedding,
in case rollers want to try them or
other folks want to borrow one
just for dancing," Tolli said.

Shiv blinked. "Can you do that?"

"Yes you can," Simon said firmly.
"It's my wedding, so what I say goes."

"But not everyone agrees?"
Luci guessed. "Why not?"

"Some folks consider it erasure
for an able-bodied person to use
a wheelchair," Tolli said. "I think if
people never sit in a wheelchair until
they need one, that just makes it harder.
If they start out with a happy memory
of one, and have a chance to learn
a few moves, then it's less scary."

Shiv remembered the time when
Tolli had coaxed him to sit in one
so that he would understand why
the floor had to be kept so clean.

He'd gotten grit all over his hands,
and the realization had burst in
his mind like a road flare.

"I think you're right,"
Shiv said. "People
should have a chance
to try it if they want to."

"Okay, so the main thing
for a walker to remember when
dancing with a roller is to keep
an eye on your toes and my wheels,"
Simon said. "We don't want any injuries."

"I don't need to watch you to know
exactly where you are," Shiv said.
"I can feel the metal frame."

"That's useful," Simon said.
"Luci, what about you?"

"I already know how
to mind a partner's space,"
she said. "It's not too different."

"All right, then we can follow
the usual rule of not looking down,"
Simon said. "Shall we pair up?"

"Shiv, we're starting with a waltz,
so let me show you the basic step
while Simon shows Luci how to adapt
for a partner in a wheelchair," Tolli said.

"Okay," Shiv said. "What do I do?"

"Stand close to me, with your feet
just a little offset so we don't step
on each other," Tolli said. "I'll put
one hand on your waist, and I will not
shift position below your belt or above
the lower edge of your shoulderblade."

The touch was light, unfamiliar,
but it wasn't unbearable. "Fine."

"Now you put one hand on my shoulder,
and we join our free hands," Tolli said.

Just like that, they were standing in
a position that Shiv recognized from
old movies and pictures and stuff.

Correcting from memory, he
molded his body against Tolli's
and was rewarded with a chuckle.

"That's the spirit," Tolli said. "A waltz
goes one-two-three. Step back with
your right foot, back with your left,
close your right foot to your left foot.
Now step forward with your left,
forward with your right, then
close your left to your right.
And we're waltzing!"

They really were.

Shiv was amazed
to find himself drifting
across the floor with Tolli,
their steps perfectly mirrored.

"Go you!" Luci caroled as
she and Simon swept past in
some more complicated twirl.

"Don't worry about them,
just keep your eyes on me,"
Tolli coached. "You're doing
very well at this already."

If you counted 'well' as
not stepping on his feet.

"Ready for some music?"
Tolli asked, and Shiv nodded.

Someone must have cued
a device somehow, because
"Moon River" began playing.

"You're a musician," Tolli said.
"Just listen for the beat and then
match it. One-two-three ..."

It was so much easier than
Shiv had thought it would be.

They just floated over the floor
in graceful arcs as Tolli led him.

"Firm up your frame," Tolli murmured.
"You need to give me something
to push against when I guide you."

Shiv pushed back a little, and yeah,
it was easier to feel where Tolli
wanted them to go now.

When the song ended,
Shiv was flushed and
grinning with success.

"Simon, I have an idea,
if you don't mind my hands
on you?" Luci suggested
as she leaned over him.

"Go ahead," Simon said.

"Lock your brakes," she said,
and when he did, Luci braced
herself on his knees and then
popped a handstand.

"Woah!" Shiv exclaimed.
"How did you do that?"

Luci touched down and
let go. "Practice," she said.
"I thought it would be fun to add
a few gymnastic moves, like
they do in modern dance."

"Go for it," Simon said.
"I'm game if you are."

So she planted her hands
again and this time did
a sort of half-cartwheel
rolling over him.

"That going to turn
some heads," Tolli said.

"I hope so!" Luci said.

"Let's switch partners,
so Shiv can start learning
the ways to work around
a wheelchair," Tolli said,
giving him a gentle push.

Shiv went with it, letting
the momentum carry him
over to Simon's place.

"Find a comfortable grip,"
Simon said. "Remember
to stay out of the way of
my wheels, and don't be
afraid to latch onto me."

It took a bit of trial and error
before they found the right grip,
but from there it turned smooth.

"My 'steps' are a little different,"
Simon said. "I'll be moving my hands
in time to the music, and that creates
the steps with the wheels. It's actually
your feet that create the 'box' shape."

"I can do that," Shiv said. "Go ahead
and put the music back on now."

The sound swelled, and instantly
Shiv recognized "Unforgettable."

"Chin down," Simon coached.
"Look your partner in the eye."

"Heh, yeah," Shiv said with
a soft chuckle. "I'm really not
used to being the taller one."

"With wheelchair dance, you
usually will be," Simon said.
"It's important to remember
eye contact for connection,
unless you or your partner
can't stand doing that."

Shiv knew what it was like
to feel invisible and hate it.

He'd gotten into a lot of
shenanigans just to make
people look at him.

"I won't forget," he said.

They danced together,
and it was so amazing to feel
the bright metal of Simon's chair
as it spun across the floor.

Shiv's steps weren't always
perfect, but he could keep up
well enough, and that was
the most important part.

"You're smiling," Simon said.

Shiv was. "It's fun," he said.
"This stuff is really fun!"

"I'm happy to hear that,"
Simon said. "We want
everyone to enjoy it."

"Yeah, me too," Shiv said.
"It's your wedding, you should
have a ball." Then he bit his lip.
"I dunno if I'll be ready by then."

"The wedding is September 23,
on the autumn equinox," Simon said.
"We have two months until then
for you and our other volunteers
to practice. I have faith in you."

"Okay," Shiv said. "I practice with
my sax, I can practice with this too."

"That's the spirit!" Simon said.
"Are you ready to try a new move?"

"Let's find out," Shiv said.

"Switch to a two-hand hold,"
Simon said, showing him how.
"See, now you can tow me."

"But you're bigger than
I am!" Shiv protested.

"So?" Simon said. "I'm
on wheels. I know you've
towed a produce wagon
at the farmer's market."

"You're not a wagon,"
Shiv said, staring.

* * *

Notes:

Breakfast recipes include Red Bean Paste Pancakes (Luci), Garden Scrambled Eggs (Shiv), and Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam (Simon). Tolli makes sausage links and bacon.

Tolli and Simon's wedding will be on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. That's the autumn equinox.

The standard aftercare assumes open healing. Packing the fresh cuts with ash and a clotting agent creates an instant scab, and doesn't require later irritation. It still needs frequent cleaning and re-wrapping. T-America has a style of scar care cream that promotes clean healing without reducing the scar itself. This also keeps the scabs soft and flexible so they don't crack and create hash lines across the scar. Around 10-14 days the scabs usually dry up and flake off, leaving a raised purple scar.

A wound care kit packed in its own box makes it quick and easy to find everything without rummaging in a bigger kit.  In T-America it's common to send one home with a client for tending fresh bodymods.  Clinic staff use similar kits for injured clients.  It reduces the chance of infection if people have the right supplies.

Dance has a variety of benefits, including unity.  Explore some different types and venues of ballroom dance.  Follow the flow of movement around the dance floor and use good dance etiquette.

Ballroom dance instructions cover waltz, jive, cha-cha, and tango (which includes embellishments).  Here is a book of dance lessons.

Lead and follow (originally called man and woman) are the two roles of ballroom dance.  They use their hands to communicate turns and other motions.  There are instructions for cup and pin turns, spin turns, and other steps.  Read about how to lead and how to follow.

Ballroom dance offers a variety of positions for a couple.  Here is a look at waltzing positions.  Ideally, in the closed position, the leader's right hand should go around the follower's waist. It is very rude to grope your partner's ass in most dances, although some of the steamier dances do incorporate that variation. For this reason, the hand placement has moved upward over time, sometimes as far as the shoulderblade. Keeping the hand over the waist places it properly over the center of balance. A shoulderblade placement provides more support for dips.

Towing is a standard move in adaptive dance.  In this video, the lead walker provides most of the propulsion for the follow roller by using a two-hand hold to tow her gracefully across the floor. Conversely, this couple uses a wide variety of hand holds with a mix of self-propulsion and towing.

Here are some popular waltzes for weddings.  Enjoy a video compilationMoon River is a favorite.  Read the lyrics or watch a video of it.


[To be continued ...]

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Current Mood: busy busy

24 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: Mark Mandel Date: June 22nd, 2019 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)

«He listened to his family chattering
around him»

Shiv has a family! And, and, it's family in a good way!!! (Bounce, bounce, bounce)


(I just feel like "bounce, bounce, bounce".I'm lying on my back on my bed,and since I can't levitate or anything like that, it's emotional, but not physical.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 22nd, 2019 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes ...

Shiv is juuuust getting to where he'll think things like "his family" in passing. He doesn't dwell on it because it still makes him skittish at times. But at least he's willing to try things and give certain people the benefit of the doubt now.
book_worm5 From: book_worm5 Date: June 22nd, 2019 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Huzzah!

This is as lovely so far as I hoped it would be. Scott Maitland is me - it occurs to me now that I should have put some sort of note to that effect on the donation, but I'm happy to be identified either way. At any rate, thanks for posting! I'll have to come back and sponsor more in a few weeks if other folks don't beat me to it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 22nd, 2019 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Huzzah!

>>This is as lovely so far as I hoped it would be.<<

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

>> Scott Maitland is me - it occurs to me now that I should have put some sort of note to that effect on the donation, but I'm happy to be identified either way. <<

I have updated the post with your username.

>>At any rate, thanks for posting! I'll have to come back and sponsor more in a few weeks if other folks don't beat me to it.<<

That would be lovely.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 22nd, 2019 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
My father loved to dance at social occasions. As my mother's health declined, she was unable to dance very much. My dad would ask any other woman at the event to dance with him. He would dance with tiny little toddler girls with bows in their hair, who had to stand on the tops of his feet to dance. He would dance with great-grandmothers in wheelchairs, twirling himself about as he pushed them to and fro to the beat of the music. He danced with the teenage girls, who said, "Oh, he's not creepy about it - he's just Uncle Gordon." And my mother didn't mind him dancing with all the other women in the room, because she knew he would be taking her home.

I'm looking forward to seeing the dances Simon teaches Shiv and Luci!

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 23rd, 2019 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>>My dad would ask any other woman at the event to dance with him.<<

That's just good etiquette. If you only dance with your date, then people who didn't come with a date have a hard time getting to dance. So the idea is to do the first and the last dance together, then mingle with other people in between.

>>I'm looking forward to seeing the dances Simon teaches Shiv and Luci!<<

:D They are detailed, and there will be links for wheelchair dancing.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 23rd, 2019 09:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

I'm not sure my father even thought of the etiquette of dancing with other partners at a social event (like a wedding or someone's 90th birthday party). I think he just liked to dance, and would make friends with just about everyone he met.

I love the idea of wheelchair dancing - I've seen videos of wheelchair sports, so it ought to work just fine. (BTW, have you ever seen tractors or other heavy machinery dancing?)

thnidu From: thnidu Date: June 28th, 2019 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely! Almost makes me forget I'm sick.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 29th, 2019 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Feel better soon, my friend!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 30th, 2019 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad I could provide something a little uplifting.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 26th, 2019 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Wheelchair tango?!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 26th, 2019 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes ...

That's a thing. Tolli and Simon are dirty dancers when they tango, even with their clothes on. I have seen cleaner pole dances.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 27th, 2019 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

That video is amazing! First of all, he has remarkably strong arms. Second, at least one of them must be a telepath. It's interesting to see "role reversal", with the female dancer taking the lead from time to time - and it's interesting to see a woman dancing the tango without being dressed in flounces from armpit to toes. And I have never seen a wheelchair used as a sex toy in public :-)
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 28th, 2019 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

Here's another wheelchair-dancing couple. The information about the video mentions a project to make wheelchair dancing better known, so that more people will learn it and enjoy doing it.
"Angelelli is the co-director of the Dance Mobility program at Fred Astaire Bloomfield Hills. Dance Mobility is Michigan's only wheelchair ballroom dancing program for adults and children with disabilities. The free program is supported by a grant from the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan Foundation. To learn more about Fred Astaire's Dance Mobility program visit https://www.fredastaire.com/bloomfield-hills/para-dance-lessons/"


There was a video a few years ago with a Chinese ballet dancer who had lost one arm in a car accident, and taught herself how to balance without that arm, and how to adapt ballet gestures. She met a young man who walked with crutches because his legs were paralyzed; he had never had any dance experience at all. She taught him how to dance, and they worked out routines where he'd lean his weight on his crutches and lift her into the air. (And a recurring character in the webcomic "Something Positive" is a stripper with a knee-down prosthetic leg because she was mauled by a dog when she was a child.) And I've personally seen people who were sitting in regular motionless chairs, using their arms and head and torsos to dance. (I've even tried doing that myself.)


ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 28th, 2019 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

>> Here's another wheelchair-dancing couple. <<

They're hot. :D

>> The information about the video mentions a project to make wheelchair dancing better known, so that more people will learn it and enjoy doing it.<<

Good plan. I think if more people had a chance to encounter wheelchairs in a positive context, such as skatepark stunts or dancing, then wheelchairs would be seen less as a negative thing unto themselves.

>>There was a video a few years ago with a Chinese ballet dancer who had lost one arm in a car accident, and taught herself how to balance without that arm, and how to adapt ballet gestures. She met a young man who walked with crutches because his legs were paralyzed; he had never had any dance experience at all. <<

That sounds similar to this dance, in which they use his crutch for things that would not work with two legs alone.

>>And I've personally seen people who were sitting in regular motionless chairs, using their arms and head and torsos to dance. (I've even tried doing that myself.)
<<

Same here.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 28th, 2019 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

That's the video, with the Chinese couple. The part that stuck in my mind was the ending, when they had to go up a small set of stairs, and they combined their abilities in order to climb the steps together.

I'd love to see ice-dancing or pairs skating with differently abled couples. As you say, it would be great to normalize such things - ballroom dancing, gymnastics, equestrianism, all the beautiful and graceful things people have figured out how to do with human bodies, done by human bodies that aren't factory-spec.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 28th, 2019 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

Well, skate chairs used to the be norm. People used them for pregnant women, seniors, small children, etc. as well as disabled folks. When the whole community went on the ice, nobody wanted to be left behind, so the folks in chairs got passed around -- and danced around -- by lots of people. It shouldn't be too hard to dig up the patterns for those. I've linked images in some poems before.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 29th, 2019 07:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

Here at the Jersey Shore, the beach resorts that were famous for their boardwalks would rent out wheeled chairs so people could push their infirm friends and relatives up and down the boardwalk to look at the sights. You still see old pictures of these chairs, which usually were woven out of wicker and included a hood over the top to keep excess sun off the passenger. I can imagine such a chair equipped with sled-like runners for use on the ice. THis wouldn't have the emotional baggage of "helpless invalid in a wheelchair".
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 1st, 2019 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

Beach wheelchairs are becoming popular at public and private beaches again. Some are free, others for rent. There are fairly normal wheelchairs with wider textured wheels like mountainbike wheels, and then there are ones meant to be pushed with wide smooth balloonlike wheels. Oh, this one's new: a tricycle with both types of wheels, can be hand-rolled or pushed. \o/

Here is a comparison of styles and features.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: June 30th, 2019 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

And here's how two women learned how to dance for their wedding. You can see just how much they love each other, every time they touch. This is probably the most beautiful wheelchair-dancing video I've seen so far.
zianuray From: zianuray Date: June 28th, 2019 03:28 am (UTC) (Link)

RE: Yes ...

Doesn't that mean they're doing it right, though?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 28th, 2019 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes ...

LOL yes, those two can tango. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 13th, 2019 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

siliconshaman here

New dances to Luci is like catnip... she's gonna bury herself in it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 13th, 2019 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: siliconshaman here

That's what I figured. :D

An advantage of them as a set: Luci can do the more challenging dances and teaching, while Shiv will help people feel comfortable even if they don't have a high skill level.
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