Last night my six-year-old daughter had her first dance class. As the other moms and I sat nodding and clapping at all the right places, what I could not get over was the absolute giddy joy of the ten girls in the class. They leapt, ran, skipped, and galloped, and giggled as they went. Going from “general space”—meaning running all over the room at will—to “self space”—skipping or dancing in a tight circle, the girls were able to explore and feel that particular freedom you get with permission to go anywhere you want and do anything you choose.
I turned to my friend and said, “We need this as moms.” And we do. In fact, I started back to Zumba classes this week (my body took a bit to remember…) and in one dance she had us all join hands for a Latin kind of slow move in a circle then go faster and faster dance sequence. You should have seen us all! Grown women giggling, laughing, and running into the center holding hands. In the great Greek tradition, I started saying, “Whoopa”!
Just like our daughters, we women need kindergarten, dance class, and as my friend Julie Hanks shared on Studio 5 this morning, recess! Whether it’s general space (jogging free through a pretty wooded area), or self space (recreating Napoleon Dynamite’s dance routine), how we need play, how we need to let go and dance for the expression of it, rather than the technique or calorie-burning of it.
What’s your playtime this week? Has it been awhile? Brainstorm a few things you love or used to love to do—go for a walk (without checking your heart rate), dance to music, belt out love songs when nobody’s in the car, or type mushy love poems. Whatever your play, do it, love it, and live it. And feel free to tell me about it, I’d love to spread the playtime cheer!