Delight in the dance

I wasn’t sure if I would have anything to say about this month’s muse, Terpsichore, until I went for a walk on the beach this morning. What does the beach have to do with the goddess of dance and choral singing, you may be wondering.

I will tell you. But first, a confession.

I can’t dance. Well, maybe that’s too harsh, but I’ll put it this way: Do you remember that Seinfeld episode when Elaine was dancing (or she thought she was)? Yeah. I have no idea what I look like when I dance, but I have seen the reactions of others when I try, and it’s kind of like all the innocent bystanders in that episode. Do me a favor and just look away.

So as I was pondering what to say about Terpsichore, I had a hard time putting aside my own insecurity about the whole thing. Until this morning.

We went for a walk this morning on the beach, me and my boys. It was one of those days that beaches were made for – not too hot, dry, breezy, bright blue sky. Perfect. Some families were hanging back under their umbrellas, eating late breakfasts, tossing beach balls. Little guys were testing out boogie boards. A few were swimming out further, bobbing up and down like seals at a party.

One woman, probably mid-fifties, caught my attention as she was coming in from the waves. She was laughing with such joy the entire time she made her way back to shore, it almost seemed to me that she wanted everyone on the beach to share in her happiness. As she was walking out of the water, she was within a few feet of me. She looked me straight in the face with the most open look of delight I think I have ever seen, and she said simply, “That was so fun!”

She made me happy just watching her, and I told her so.

And that is what dance does for me. It makes me happy when I see great dancers dance with delight.

I believe that is what Terpsichore is all about. I like what Greek Myths & Greek Mythology says about her: “She was called Terpsichore because she was enjoying and having fun with dancing (‘Terpo’ in Greek refers to be amused).” Wikipedia says that Terpsichore means “delight in dancing,” which works too.

What fills you with such joy that others are happy to watch? That’s you dancing.


Photo by Andre Hunter via


2 thoughts on “Delight in the dance

  1. childofaslan says:

    I keep coming back here to reread this. I keep stumbling on and lighting up at “delight in dancing.” How very like the gods to delight in what they have made and govern. I just keeping thinking about little kids and how they just love to bounce and groove to the music, and it’s both serious work and yet so much fun. And the story of the ocean water dance just makes me smile–her delight is contagious, even on the page!

  2. forgivingjournal says:

    That’s beautiful! To me, you just made this muse accessible with such simplicity and practicality. Thank you. And thanks for visiting my blog.
    I am in joy when I watch people awaken to their self-love. 🙂 Including my own!

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