Nine years ago I attended the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Festival and had a great time. As the festival ended a woman came up to me and told me that she was going to write a story about me and a little girl that I had danced with and that she'd send it to me when it was finished. A few weeks later I received the story via email and was amazed at the detail....Maryanne must have taken notes! She even had the story published in a magazine that I can't remember the name of anymore, and I cherish it and get a charge out of it every time I reread. The biblical references at the end don't jive in my opinion or with my lifestyle, but I do honor and respect her take on it.
Lord of the Dance
This is the story about "Dancin'Dave" and a beautiful little girl. I got to watch this grand mini-event while sitting on the front row at the Minnesota bluegrass festival.
Dancin'Dave found himself a little spot in the sunshine up close to the stage but over to the side. Pretty much throughout the whole concert he was doing an extremely relaxed version of clogging or two-stepping, sometimes waltzing, even a dosey-doe once in awhile. He was so relaxed that it seemed almost that he was dancing in slow motion, although keeping time with the music.
His clothes seemed a bit out of step with his dancing. He was wearing an Hawaiian print shirt, tan bermuda shorts, hiking boots, and a white straw cowboy hat that covered thick salt-and-pepper hair pulled back into a long pony tail. He had a beard, short but nicely shaped. I could not take my eyes off of him. He got at least as much of my attention as I gave the groups performing on stage.
From far over on the right, way on the other side of the audience-maybe two hundred yards-came a beautiful, chubby, golden-haired little girl. The crowd of watching people she had to cross in front of did not intimidate her, she had her eyes on her goal. I would guess she was sevenish. Her hair hung down her back in one pretty braid. She was wearing a sleeveless cotton dress colored like a watermelon. The top was deep pink with black seeds, a ribbon of pale green rind at the waist, and the short skirt a dark mottled green like the skin of a ripe melon. She was wearing white tennis shoes with no socks.
So far, I've just been trying to paint a picture for you so you can see it in your own mind. This visual information isn't particularly important to the story. The man could just as well have been wearing a dusty white robe and brown leather sandals, and had long, curly, dark hair and beard. The girl could have just as well been wearing a blue tunic and had dirty little bare feet.
Well, here came this little girl, with golden skin and blushing pink cheeks. How can I possibly describe for you in mere words the charm and appeal of this child's face? But since the expression on her face was the real inspiration for this story, I must give it my best shot. Absolute innocence, trust, expectancy, confidence--and yet shyness--were written in her smile. Her face was eloquent--and exquisite.
She was headed right for Dancin'Dave. I looked at him and saw that his eyes also had caught this little girl and were following her approach to him. His own face began to smile and sparkle as he continued to do his slow two-stepping. She stopped square in front of him, looking right up into his eyes--that shy smile of expectancy still holding--and she waited. After a second, Dancin'Dave held out his hands to her. She put her little hands in his, and they began to dance.
At first she began to skip around in circles, not caring in the slightest that she had become a spectacle. Dancin'Dave skipped around with her. Next she began a kind of hopping, so he did too. After following her lead for a little while, he began to do some simple basic dance steps. She continued her own little steps until she had watched what he was doing for a while, and then began to try his steps. The fact that her first attempts were faltering and imperfect did not discourage her in the slightest. She was completely unselfconscious. After she had learned the first step and could follow, he began a bit more complicated step. Same thing. She continued with what she was doing until she felt confidant to start trying his new step. It went on this way until he had her doing spins, dosey-does, loopity-loops, linking elbows and then reversing--moves that I have no idea what they are called. His steps gave hers grace, and they danced as one.
While this dancing was going on, the little girl held almost constant, unabashed eye contact with Dancin'Dave. Do you know how hard it is to hold eye contact with someone? Let alone a perfect stranger? A friend of mine, an elegant ball room dancer, once tried to teach me how to waltz. The closeness made me uncomfortable to where I could not look at his face, but stayed focused on his shoulder and chest, or my feet. But this little girl's eyes stayed riveted on the face of her new friend, her dance teacher. That in itself was amazing.
Watching Dancin'Dave and the chubby little golden girl with the shy but confident face was, I'll have to say, the highlight of the concert for me. It was one of those visual moments that happen only rarely in a lifetime but stay imprinted forever in the memory. It was staged in a beautiful outdoor setting in the neighborhood of Spunk Lake in Minnesota. That's not important though, because it could just as well happened anywhere, perhaps on a sunny hillside of the Lake of Galillee. And that little girl could just as well have been me. I wish it had have been.
Except we become as little children, and dare to enter before God's presence with boldness and confidence and expectancy, willing to try to follow "The Lord of the Dance" who has held out His hands in invitation, we will not enter into the rich experience and delights of His kingdom.
----the end. Hope you enjoy it! Maryanne