published Monday, August 26th, 2013

Grand Thoughts: Dancing for the sheer joy of it

There’s a dance tonight at my house. There’s a dance most every night at my house.

We move the furniture out of our way. We turn on the music and we dance. Sometimes we dance for 30 minutes. Sometimes we dance for two hours. But we always dance.

Watching my granddaughters, Tilleigh, 6, and Evie, 3, dance is one of my greatest pleasures. There’s nothing more entertaining. Sometimes they crack me up, particularly Evie, who has some Shakira-like moves. The kid can feel the music.

Tilleigh does everything from rock’n’roll to ballet to contemporary. She’s good.

The girls often make a production of their dances, complete with stories and costumes.

We dance inside the house and out in the yard. One of my all-time favorite photographs is one that I shot two years ago of Tilleigh wearing a princess costume and dancing barefoot in the grass. The photograph captured her in a graceful mid-air jump that rivals a professional ballet dancer. She’s beautiful.

One of my favorite videos shows Evie dancing in place while standing on a container. There’s not one part of her body that’s not shaking.

I remember as a child watching my parents dance the jitterbug in our living room. After they danced, I joined in and they taught me the moves. I never missed a school dance, and I danced with my children as they were growing up. I have been to dozens of dances with my husband throughout the years. Sometimes we dance when we’re alone. Sometimes I dance by myself. But I always dance with my granddaughters.

Dancing is energizing and fun. It just makes you feel good.

Sometimes when my granddaughters are dancing, I think of Lee Ann Womack’s hit song, “I Hope You Dance.” I saw an interview with Womack saying that the song made her think about her own daughters and the different stages in life they were experiencing.

The lyrics are very moving, especially while watching my girls dance: “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens. Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,

and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. Dance … I hope you dance. I hope you dance. I hope you dance.”

I hope my granddaughters never sit it out. I hope they’ll dance.

Contact staff writer Karen Nazor Hill at khill@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6396.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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