Shoes Off to Dance

She’s the kind of girl who takes her shoes off to dance.

It’s not that they’re too tight or unsuited for movement, though in truth they often are. She’d dance despite the inconvenience and pain if she had to. It’s instead a desire to remove that thin yet considerable barrier between her and the ground. Dancing is different with that barrier, the sensations muted. What is a twirl without the slight catch of skin on imperceptibly uneven wood, a leap without the spongy compression of earth beneath toes?

And when she does dance, not an eye in the room misses it. At first some are perhaps too occupied with their own steps, their own conversations, their own drinks, but inevitably they all turn to her. Something about her movements cries out to be noticed, not with the desperate plea of the overlooked, but with the quiet call of the beautiful. Sometimes silence will descend once all gazes find her, but more often it doesn’t. It’s almost as if the eyes are too entranced by what they see to send any meaningful orders to the mouth. And so the crowd appears to go on as if nothing has happened, as if no one has discovered the wonder in their midst.

It doesn’t much matter, since she wouldn’t detect the change anyway. When she dances, her awareness drains from her senses and flows into the movements of her limbs, her hips, her torso. A flick of the wrist, a tilt of the chin. Step in, arm back, twist, point. Move. Flames could engulf the room and she wouldn’t notice until they curled, wisplike, around her bare toes. Barring such an interruption, she can dance for hours with little conception of time. Everything narrows to this moment, this movement, and nothing exists outside of her contorting body.

As her feet still with the fading music, her world expands again, encompassing once more those things beyond her skin. As her heart beats its way back to a normal rhythm, something wild is reined in. Something that flew alive and free as she danced is once more forced within the confines of her slowing figure. It resists, of course it does, but the stillness of motionless limbs is far too powerful a jailer for something so restless. The fastening of a knot, the securing of a buckle, the tugging of a zipper: these are the signs of the end, the bars on the cage.

But there’s no need to despair for long.

She’s the kind of girl who dances often.


And that’s another attempt at being artsy. Thanks again for indulging me!