From Dancing to Dodging Deer – Just a Typical Tuesday

Posted on Posted in Community and Culture, Dance, Yoga and Fitness, Reflections on Life
These photos were from a huge African drum and dance festival in Seattle a couple years ago. It’s in April each year, and well worth the trip!

As you might notice, Rob and I don’t really like routines.  We avoid them, actually.  But there’s one thing we don’t mind scheduling: our favorite athletic hobbies.  For Bob-ito, that means volleyball, basketball, and martial arts.  For me, that means dance classes of any kind, usually at the Downtown Dance Collective: Oula, Brazilian, ballet, hiphop, salsa.

Tonight I got the best of both worlds: an unscheduled dance class.  Thanks to my mom, I found out at 4pm there was a 7pm West African class taught by visiting master drummers and dancers from Guinea.  Sold.

I take a West African dance class about once a year, usually when someone from the African continent comes to Missoula to teach (thanks, Unity Dance and Drum!).  Even though I dance almost daily, my body is always wrecked after a West African class.  Somehow, nothing else physically compares to the exertion I put forth flailing, jumping, squatting, and spinning to loud, live drums.

And nothing else can make me feel so completely humble and humiliated one moment, and then exhilarated and affirmed the next.  It’s awesome.

Sidenote: I highly recommend everyone try something that makes them feel this schizophrenically bipolar at some point.  It brings us out of our comfort bubbles and makes us realize we can do interesting–even astounding–things.

Again, this was the big festival in Seattle in April. Everything is free. Thanks to my friend, Saleche (Celeste), for finding it and going with me in 2010.

In preparation for the body-wrecking class, I rode my bike downtown to try and loosen the muscles.  It’s now pitch black by 8:30pm, so the ride home through dark, forested Greenough Park along bear-infested Rattlesnake Creek was its own adventure.  Good thing I have lights on my bike.

Yelling “Hey, Bear.  HEEEYYY, BEARS,” into the dark woods, I turned a corner and literally braked about 4 inches from a huge buck.  Whew.  Better than a bear, but it still got my heart rate up higher than the dance class did.

Just another Tuesday night in Missoula…spontaneous African dance and a near-miss on T-boning a deer on a bike.   I wonder if tomorrow’s more-regularly- scheduled Oula dance class will have anything spontaneous in store!

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