Last week I wrote a post titled ‘Dance like nobody is watching‘. I wrote about my admiration for people who could dance without self consciousness – the freedom that must come from that.
Today, we heard the news that an amazing woman has died. She is not someone I knew personally – to me she was a TV personality, panelist, opinion writer, advocate and comedian. And, she had a genetic disorder that causes bones to break easily, meaning she needed to use a wheelchair to get around. Her disorder, to me, was not what defined her though. Instead, she was defined by her persistence and humour, how well she could articulate any point she was making, but still manage to do so in a way that was both pointed, but not aggressive or lacking in sensitivity. She recognised ignorance that many of us carry, but didn’t tear them down for that. That was impressive.
Today we learned that, on Saturday night, she died unexpectedly and peacefully, at the age of 32. Various well deserved tributes have been made, and articles shared, and one in particular caught my eye. It was titled ‘Dance like everybody’s watching’. You can read it here.
This paragraph caught my eye:
I dance as a political statement, because disabled bodies are inherently political, but I mostly dance for all the same reasons anyone else does. Because it heals my spirit and fills me with joy; each foray onto the dance floor brings the possibility of that delicious frisson that comes from locking eyes with someone and knowing, in that moment, that you’re dancing just for each other; because it makes me sweat and move connect with people and feel like I’ve landed in my skin when I finally stop. And I dance because, in the end, dancing is a way for my body to have a conversation about these things, the pulsating waves of a hundred people sharing thoughts and dreams and ideas about what it means to be alive.
This really made me think. It made me feel grateful that we have a world where people like Stella exist – people who make us think, and feel, and care for others. It also made me grateful for the freedom and connectivity of dance – the joy that it can bring.
Thank you Stella.