The Sky's Dancer

There was something odd and fascinating about him. Perhaps it was the way he twirled his feet in small circles with his pointed black shoes as he danced, or the way his whole body moved with the bang of the animal-skinned drum his cousin was playing. Perhaps it was the way his strong brown arms tightened as he spun around or the way he tightly gripped the red scarf with his long, well-shaped fingers as he came into the center of the dance circle. Perhaps it was that strong laugh that echoed out loud or the smile that grew quietly unto his face, as if sun dawning upon the sleeping earth. Perhaps even it was the way that he confused my thoughts into whirling pools of memories, taking away my breath when he looked into my eyes.
Many times, he attempted to straighten his face as he danced. In the beginning of the dance, he matched himself to that of the beat: strong, steady, repetitive. He played the part of the resilient son; disciplined, traditional, and controlled. Like the drum, he rippled off his people’s history and culture, telling the story of the medieval city that had long ago been settled by wandering desert nomads. His hands followed the pipe player’s melody, showing the hot sun and abundant water that had come out of the sandy ground after the nomads had cried for help. His body told the story of the oldest son, the caretaker of the family, who was proud of being able to help his father in the fields of golden wheat and barley, and proud of his beautiful sisters that took care of his mother.
I watched him closely, letting only a small laugh escape my lips when his face began to brighten. I knew him well, and I knew what would soon happen. It seemed as everything slowed as I watched, searching for that single moment. In a single flash, I saw it, the duration of only a few seconds, as he lost himself and allowed himself to become the free child he once had been.
He lost himself within the familiar beat of the dance, the dance he had learned as a small child with the other boys, always ever loud and obnoxious to the quiet boy. He always had loved his dances and practiced them alone; sometimes even shyly dancing for small girls that passed by.
In that single moment, his heart soared and he allowed himself to smile. He laughed at first uncertainly, his shy nature returning, but allowed his smile to grow, relaxing and brightening his quiet face. It was as if his heart was set free, allowing the emotions and light tune of the pipe-player to enter into him. His soul then became that of a falcon: strong and soaring, yet free and loyal with piercing eyes.
He was no longer a single person, but a part of a bigger picture, a part of the sky that he danced under. The more he twirled, the more the colors of his beloved country began to blend and streak. The blue color of the skies that were touched with silver lined clouds, the color of the yellow sand that surrounded the crowds that passed by, and the deep green color of the trees that stood out within the quiet desert land all called to him in a natural trance that too took the breaths of others when they watched. A single child approached him and watched, curiously observing the dancer’s trance. The dancer’s eyes again shone, transforming from a solid brown to a light and sparkling color with uncountable shades. His joy rippled through the crowd like a droplet of water within a single pond, and they too smiled, clapping with the player.
It seemed that as his friends clapped for him, he could not hear them. It was only him and the memories of the past, of his sisters, brothers, and cousin who was to be wedded that day, dancing together in a steady rhythm. It was his way of saying goodbye to his old memories, ho?çakal my dear friends he wept, and allowed the new change to enter with his blessings. He spread his arms out as if they were the wings of an outstretched bird, and he let himself whirl around with the red scarf held high above his head.
And then again, he would return to the earth, sombering and again moving towards the crowd, dancing around them in the shape of an ‘S’, while folding his arms behind him and tightening his jaw. He would then again become the strong son, even though in his heart, he was still a dancer, a dancer of the sky.


I was inspired for this piece after watching a traditional wedding dance preformed by a close friend of mine. The dance is done as a way of saying goodbye to the old memories and is a way of blessing the newly wedding couple by retelling the stories of the past generations.





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fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm
beautiful piece! great imagery!
 
Academicallstar replied...
Oct. 31, 2011 at 1:19 am
Thanks! I appreciate it! Feel free to read my other works!
 
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