“Hello darling” is how Ruby greeted me the first time I met her. My first reaction at seeing this beautiful Sri Lankan woman was, “You don’t look seventy-two!” She laughed and said, “Dance keeps me young darling.”
Ruby has been ‘Bollywood-ing’ for thirty-two years. She started by teaching Bollywood dance to kids at an orphanage in Sri Lanka.
In Australia, she has been organizing Bollywood dance classes at the Orana Community Centre in Wantirna South for the past four years. A group of seven women in their 60’s and 70’s, glammed to the fullest, getting together to do the ‘thumka’.
One day, Ruby said that she had mentioned the Bollywood dance class to one of her patients (a retired nurse, she continues to volunteer at a hospital).
“You should have seen her eyes darling, they just lit up. Dance keeps us alive you know.”
I loved this sentence. But what does it really mean?
“Music, sound, it’s a natural thing. And moving our body to that natural thing is just part of nature. It’s not a put on. Look at the trees, how they swing with the wind. We are the same way darling, our body likes to move & bend & swing with the sounds we hear. If we embrace this point of view, then anybody should be able to dance.”
I thought about how many times I have heard people say, “I can’t dance, I have two left feet, I am not graceful, I am not co-ordinated!”
In Ruby’s wise words, “Just move your body darling and don’t think about it too much.”
10 October 2018