noun, verb, ref·uged, ref·ug·ing.
shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm.
a place of shelter, protection, or safety.
anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape.
For the last six months I have had contact with this girl we will call Fox. We will call her that because that really is her name bit tell no one. Fox like any fox is hard to stay in touch with because she appears and disappears. Our last interaction involved her leading me to an ecstatic dance gathering at Refuge in the Portland industrial area. It was kind of like church but with two hours of dancing. It was beautiful, like something i had drawn back in high school. It was wonderful seeing everyone just twirling and dancing so gracefully.
I sat on to the edge of the room paralyzed with terror.
Believe it or not but dancing in public is something I am usually very scared to do. My track record doesn’t show it but I usually show up to a party stiff and wound tight and as a kid growing up in Puerto Rico I never really participated in any dancing. Sometimes I can just let go and do it but even in the middle of cavorting I freeze up and retreat to the edge of the dance floor or father. I tend to feel like I am in the way of all the really good dancers taking up valuable dance floor.
Yes I am scared of dancing in public. Part of the reason I like to go dancing is the odd chance I will be able to let go and just do it. I dance at work, I dance at the supermarket trying to buy cheese, I have even danced as a stripper. Every time terrified.
Song after song I watched Fox gambol and frolic, and song after song I longed to be out there on the dance floor too. Some one had tossed a balloon in to the group and everyone one would dance and bop the balloon up into the air. I saw my chance to get myself dancing. I moved into the crowd with the music and helped keep the big turquoise balloon in the air with my feet and shoulders in rhythm of the music. I tricked myself into dancing and gave myself to focus on until every cell in my body was ready to let go.
Dancing like many things in life takes trust, confidence and the ability to detach from the ego. I love dance and I always end up being happy that I did dance. It is not easy overcoming your fears but fear should be more reason to “do” something and overcome.
The event takes place every Sunday from 1230 pm to 230 pm with and $8-$10 dollar donation. look up other events like these in Portland at www.pdxecstaticdance.com