Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 August 2013

A Ride To The Dancing Girl

Most of you will probably never see me dance.  Consider yourselves lucky.  Trust me.

Of the things I can't do, dancing is probably the thing I most wish I could.  An actual dancer may beg to differ, but I always had the impression that dancers come closest to creating a jeu d'esprit with the human body.  

Probably the closest I come to that is when I ride my bicycle, however gracelessly and (these days) slowly.   

Dancers. as we know, often perform solo.  However, at their best, they're always dancing with someone or something.  Often, I think, it's with the audience, at least figuratively.  Also, they're performing duets or in concert with their surroundings, their memories and the temper of their times. 

The other day, I danced with Arielle.  We traipsed across bridges, rolled through tenement valleys in the Bronx and waltzed, it seemed, across fields and woods that lined the roads just beyond the suburban sprawl of Westchester County.  It also felt as if we were leaping across brooks and streams and along the coastline of Long Island Sound.

I had no destination in particular, but about three hours later, we ended up In Stamford, CT.  Look at what welcomed us to the city:

 Stamford sculptor James Knowles created Dancing Girl in bronze.  In 1987, a local businessman and his wife donated it to the city,where it was displayed in front of the Old Town Hall for fourteen years. Fourteen years later, it was "temporarily" removed for a renovation to the plaza.  For the next nine years, the girl languished in captivity, I mean, storage.  Finally, three years ago, it was re-dedicated.

Who says art has no effect on anything?  I felt lighter as I started to pedal home, even though I was, within a few minutes, making a fairly long (though not particularly steep) climb.  Oh, yes, I had a breeze at my back.  But I think the girl was guiding me and Arielle, in spirit.


  1. The saying that you never forget how to ride a bike certainly doesn't apply to dancing. My wife and I took ballroom dance lessons for about 10 years. Sometimes we went dancing 3 times a week, participating in private lessons, group lessons and regular dances. We pretty much gave it up after our instructor, a wonderful guy, died suddenly. The other night we attempted a cha-cha and it was like we had never danced a step. Fortunately we were home and not in the middle of a crowded ballroom.

  2. Hi MT,

    I enjoyed your response, if for no other reason that I feel less bad about my ineptitude as a dancer!

  3. I am listening to "California dreaming " in a B&B and dancing in my head.How I wish I had been born with the ability to dance in the real world!

    The nearest I have ever come to this has been those magical rides when I was at one with my bicycle...

  4. Coline--Sometimes I think the bike was invented just to be sure all humans could dance.