When I walk onto the dance floor, I want to open my heart to my partner. I know that it doesn’t always happen. I have some close friends with whom it is a simple act of unlocking my existing love for them and letting it flow into our dance. I always try to extend that warmth to beginners in order to share the joy of the dance with them. It is harder with complete strangers, but if I feel respected and cared for it doesn’t take long for me to warm up to them.

I love what Tina had to say about bringing warmth into the embrace, into the dance. I agree that it creates an entirely different experience, a feeling that is so much more than just dancing along with someone else. And it is so hard to maintain that openness with a partner who feels distant or aloof. What a joy, then, to allow ourselves to be open and warm and loving and truly embrace our partner, and to have that embrace returned.

But here is something I have been pondering: I know that I can create that warmth with people I hardly know. It happens over and over, and the beauty and magic of the dance is created within that embrace and then let go when the music ends. But what about those people we know but aren’t as fond of? Friends who have hurt us (when the trust is not yet rebuilt even though apologies have been made), or acquaintances who sometimes rub us the wrong way? I hate to think that I have to avoid dancing with them altogether, or suffer distant emotions despite physical closeness, but I find it harder to open myself to them as we dance. Even if these are people with whom I have had beautiful, heavenly dances before, or people who I recognize as very good dancers.

Easier to leave the magic on the floor than leave the bitterness off it …