My name is Mary and I am a dancer. It´s time for me to stand up and be counted as one of the people that without dancing in their life, starts to feel like a smaller, greyer version of their fabulous self. Please don´t misunderstand me. I don´t for one minute believe that I´ve missed my calling and that some how I should have spent my formative years at ballet school or leaping across West End stages, but the fundamental truth is that busting grooves feeds my soul.
And as much as I love the Macarena, since moving the vast distance of 10 minutes by bike away from any remote grooving action in the Alameda, my dancing light has been firmly buried under a bushel. But after a serious word with myself, I´ve decided to come out of rhythmic retirement.
So it was with much excitement and pent up energy that I found myself at the door of Espacio Abierto near Santa Justa. Home to various alternative therapies, yoga, personal development etc, it also specialises in ´Movimiento Expresivo´ (Expressive Movement) promising ´to balance my mind and body whilst dancing´. Combining the dizzying array of movement, rhythm, expression, theatre, voice, sound creativity, breath, relaxation and silence I knew it was going to be than just a bop around with some strangers. And I was more than prepared for the possibility of some very un-British touchy feely moments peppering the one and half hour class. And indeed there was some hand holding and a fair amount of gazing into a dance partner´s eyes, but the rest was sheer dancing bliss as I unravelled by contracted self and released my ethereal essence into the slightly sweaty atmosphere. My little heart pounded with joy and gladness, finally it had been given its precious space to shine brightly. So I guess you can gather from the above effusive praise that I thoroughly enjoyed myself and plan on going back frequently.
But once a week was just not enough dancing for my sudden insatiable appetite, so a few weeks ago on a sunny spring Saturday I trotted off to Parque Alamillo to join a group called the ´Concheros´, who under the welcoming shade of a giant tree, come together every month to dance an ancient Aztec dance that pre-dates the Spanish conquest. Dancing round in a circle you follow the lead of some of the long standing ´comadres and copadres´, who sing and dance giving thanks to mother earth, accompanied by a never ending beat of hypnotising drumming and a jolly sounding mandolin. At first I felt like I´d just arrived late at an aerobic dance where everyone knows the steps apart from me, but before long I had fallen into the groove and with a mind free from thoughts, I was moving in a semi synchronicity with the rest.
After about 3 hours of non-stop circling and a fair bit of singing, it was time to rest my happily weary bones, and join my fellow Concheros for a ´comida popular´, basically when everyone brings a bite to share, so not be a sandwich short of a picnic.
And so it is, I am a dancer with somewhere to dance. And that makes me very happy.
Espacio Abierto, Calle Doctor Pedro Vallina 11, local 2, Sevilla. 954 539 384
Concheros, contact Federico Muñoz, Tel 639 909 748,