We are International Homestay parents to a Japanese student, named Yuto, who introduced us to the infamous Boy-Band,BTS and their song ‘Permission to Dance’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuklIb9d3fI                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

We live in a world that the whole idea of obtaining permission is seemingly on the increase; permission to take our mask off, permission to come into a business or even another country with or without vaccinations, and the list goes on. Well, like the song says and I have long believed ~ You don’t need permission to dance ~and for me, 2022 is going to be the year to dance more than I ever have before, whenever, with whomever and for whatever reason, and with or without ~PERMISSION! ~  Sometimes it will be a dance of jubilation or celebration. Sometimes a dance of frustration, exasperation or even irritation. Sometimes in sorrow and sadness, but whatever the circumstance I am going to choose as my initial response to dance whether anyone else decides to dance with me or not, is not even part of the equation.

Now in full disclosure, I own a rare pair of ‘two left feet’ when it comes to dancing, so my moves will not necessarily leave you in awe or suggesting that I try out for a dance competition, but that really is immaterial to me and if you know me at all your laughing at me or rolling your eyes just encourages me to keep on keeping on.

Back in the Fall of 2021, I was visiting my daughter and her family in Ottawa, where my 5yr old grandson is a dance machine. His parents shared with me that while attending a recent wedding reception he danced almost every dance entertaining all in attendance that evening.  While visiting with them the situation presented itself, music was playing, he was dancing, so I decided to join him, but was quickly told, “Papa I dance alone”and dance alone he did. Was I offended? Absolutely not, because many times in life there will be no one there to dance with, or your timing to dance may or may not work with those around you, so learn to enjoy dancing alone.  

There have been occasions when my husband and I are in the grocery store, where my primary responsibility is to push the cart and suddenly as a result of the music playing over the loudspeakers I choose to dance where oft times he either ignores me or moves quickly to the next aisle, adults roll their eyes, and children grin, laugh, smile or start showing off their dance moves.  

Tuesdays with Morrie is one of my favourite books to read again and again. Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir by American author Mitch Albom about a series of visits Albom made to his former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz, as Schwartz gradually dies of ALS. The author, Mitch, explains that Morrie does not care much about societal rules. He enjoys dancing, so he dances. If others judge him to be weird, he does not care and the moment I read that I added that to my repertoire of living life to the fullest. Morrie's love of dance is directly tied to his conception of freedom. Dance is a way for him to gain freedom from a culture he doesn't find useful, as well as to show his belief that one should experience pleasure in life and not let society dictate how he should behave.

At the age of 40 I came out as a gay man and although it cost me, my occupation as a clergyman and for a while a relationship with my children, I soon realized that whoever you allow to define you, will take it upon themselves to confine you, then refine and redefine you according to what they believe you should be and how you should act. My knowledge of my Creator reminded me that  they from the beginning  never made it the responsibility of my fellow human beings to take on such a task, nor for me to allow anyone on this planet to do that for me because this journey we refer to as life isn’t so much about becoming anything, rather it’s unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

So crank up the music and dance, and then join me in making a decisive decision this year to dance simply because you don’t need anyone else’s permission to dance.

Comments & Upvotes