Dance that Dance

Gosh, how easy it is to forget the steps when you’re rushing through life.

When I organized an African Dance class fundraiser event, I probably didn’t fully realize what I was getting myself into. I coordinated with many different people, secured the necessary funding and space and time, and made plenty of phone calls. Needless to say, I was excited. A teacher would be coming to give a special African dance class that attendees would be able to participate in free of charge, though they would be asked to give a small donation to a Tanzanian Children’s home that I came across during my time in that beautiful country this summer. The cause was close to my heart and the idea of dancing to show my support was nothing short of majestic in my mind.

But then the day came, along with Sandy’s wind gusts, and standing at the door of the dance studio, I strained my eyes to see just who would come bouncing through the door at any moment. No one.

To say the turnout was dismal would be an understatement, and to say that I was crushed would be completely accurate. Standing there, wind whipping around me, I tried to think through every possible miscommunication–every possible misstep–that I could have made. Did the emails not go out as I thought they had? Was another big event going on at this time? Was there just too much homework this weekend? The rain? The distance? The idea of dancing?

There could have been a million different reasons why an event I had poured myself into didn’t seem to elicit the same response from those around me. But then Michi walked in the door. My wonderful, incredible, reliable, blockie, roomie, and friend and the only Michi I have been so fortunate to know in my life. She saved me that windy afternoon and rallied the rest of our blocking group and the friends who were halfway through psets in libraries or leaving one event for another or about to take a nap because they were just plumb tired. And soon, they came. The people in my life who support me no matter how much they don’t care to dance were there to dance with me that afternoon—in this crazy, wild, and giggle-inducing rhythmic movement that reminded me just how hopelessly uncoordinated I am. But then again, aren’t we all?

For me, that day became a highlight of the weeks that have passed of my sophomore fall at Harvard. Yes, it was a massive failure in event planning and a grand opportunity to learn something, but more than that, it was a show of solidarity and support that touched me more than those friends and roommates and blockmates who stood by my side can possibly know. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, and however you feel during the good times and the bad, I hope you find that.

Because at the end of the day, you don’t just want friends who will go the distance, you want ones who will dance that dance with you, every last crazy step. After all, “getting up when you fall” is not really a two-step sequence.

Because first you try,

And then you feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end,

Before you learn how to fly,

So that you can shine.

Keep your head up, chin up, and feet dancing.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Lots of love,

Ishani

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