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I don’t remember how old I was when my grandparents took us to our first dance. Old enough that all five of us kids could walk on our own. The music from the Tejano band echoed off the pavilion. My popo held my momo in his arms and spun her around the dance floor as if it was as easy as breathing. Her dancing heels and his black leather shoes scraping softly across the cermet. Their love for each other has always inspired me because that was love, the stars in her eyes as she moved her hips to the music.

I begged my brothers to dance with me because there were few other children there, and none that would talk to me. I hungered for the movement, for the music to wash over me and leave its mark on my soul. When they wouldn’t oblige me, I’d sway with the music all by myself. The can lights above me flashing red and white.

This was the start of my love for dance. I begged my mom for ballet lessons, but when you’re a single mom trying to make ends meet there is no money left for pink slippers and leotards. In middle school, they started offering dance as a substitute for P.E., and I jumped for it. For three years, I was in the dance program. Was I any good? Hard to say. But I danced with joy.

Every school function I was there, dressed to the nines, and the last one to leave the dance floor. Well, save my best friend who was always right there with me. From winter formals to prom, we were out there having the time of our lives.

There are few situations in which there is music, and I don’t feel the urge to move my body along to the beat. It speaks to my soul, the notes make a beautiful wave for me to be carried on.

I have this theory. Well, technically, it’s not my theory; it’s Anna, my coworker’s, theory. Those who dance are happier than those who don’t. She made a particular claim while we watched a young boy groove to the music that played in the dining room of our restaurant. But I do agree with her, as a person who dances in the supermarket aisles and whilst doing chores at home, I wholeheartedly believe that those who dance through life and headed somewhere brighter.

Arianna is Texas raised. A junior at Stephen F. Austin in the creative writing department. Having had publications in the charity chapbook Remedy of Water, the proceeds donated to the California wildfires.
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