I love music and I love to dance. I am an eighth generation Texan and probably the 14th or 15th generation of dancers in my family descending from my paternal grandmother’s side. Dancing and music runs deep in our blood and being a drummer all my life the dance floor was certainly my destiny. My soul naturally gravitates toward the rhythm of harmonic melodic sound and firmly attaches itself, sometimes to the euphoric point of exhaustion. Then, and rarely any other time, I connect to our Universe with familial bonds beating in various intuitive circadian ways. The music takes over my body and my body follows its direction. Mmmm, I vibrate within and I am home.
Watching me dance, one friend described it as a Shaman summoning the gods of Life. That may be a most appropriate description because the “high”, if I may call it that, reaches primal tribal depths. Yet I think it goes beyond just the show of being in a night club. Actually for me it goes deeper.
A tribal connection thrives in open free expression and it means the difference between existential loneliness and the tranquility of belonging. I experience this every time I am with certain close friends at Panoptikon…my personal dance among my tribal dancers where I feel heard, understood, embraced, and open communication exists. When I am among my tribe when I feel welcomed and embraced, I count myself lucky because I know how rare this “high” is in a society constantly going and competing.
Even though surprises arise in the process of free expression, or the dance, it is always worth the effort. In less intimate relationships, expressing ourselves honestly is essential to our sense of home. But we are not always home. Whether inside our tribe or in foreign lands, articulate communication requires forethought; otherwise we risk blundering about like the proverbial bull in a china closet. However, too much forethought can cause us to pad or dilute our words or dance, so much that we are grossly superficial or confusing the matter further. Honest articulation, expression, dance are the critical principles among your tribe and there are many methods of doing this; none of them especially right or wrong.
When you communicate or express yourself honestly and boldly with your tribe, you also open paths to discovering more tribal dancers unique to your persona and purpose. These recognizable souls can fall into your life from your own journey and initiative, or they can find you and lead you to new connection. In any circumstance, if you feel disjointed then it is time to push your envelope, your limits. Get out of your comfort-zone! Fear stifles, courage fulfills.
For me and my primal connection, I dance with my tribe at Lord Byron’s Panoptikon — 108 S. Pearl Expy, Dallas. They are now building their independent website. Other nights I am down the street in Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX at The Church — 2424 Swiss Ave., Dallas.
From one of my favorite books by a fellow drummer:
Here is the mystery: If the rhythm is right, if the translation between inner mood and the drum membrane are perfect, then you know it instantly. “Ah, this goes with my body tempo, this connects how I feel today, how fast my heart is beating, what my thoughts are, what my hands feel like.”
When the rhythm is right you feel it with all your senses, every corner of your soul and being. You don’t fight it, but instead allow yourself to be propelled and consumed by its insistent yet familiar feeling. All sense of the present moment disappears, the normal categories of time become meaningless.
We live on a planet of rhythm and time. A planet that completes its cycle around the sun every 365 days, with a moon that cycles around us every 28 days, and we rotate around our own axis every 24 hours. These cosmic cycles and our bodily ones, all connected to the circadian dance of day and night. The mystery of rhythm and time found for a moment in the soul’s drum. When it is right, you feel it with all your senses, every thread of your being. It is the ‘sweet spot’ of connection.
I have found that for me vocal-trance, future-pop or synth-pop, and industrial-metal carry me away dancing. A lot of the time I am completely oblivious to my surroundings. If you’re wondering if this journey is in part or entirely a result of alcohol or drugs, you are incorrect. Because of my family heritage in dancing, and my intuitive drum, I have no fears or hangups being in the center of the floor and letting my beast out.
Most of the time I am out there to the point of exhaustion if my particular beats go on and on; I can’t seem to stop. And why would I? Medical science has shown that getting your heart-rate up for just 30 minutes a day is equal to one anti-depressant pill. I dance for at least 4 hours, sometimes 5 with just brief breaks to breath. It is the best natural high I know other than the zone I reach playing the drums. Well, actually I guess there is one other….the birth of my two children! HAH! No, to be fully transparent it was also the process leading up to my two children and those other similar moments. 😉
Find your tribe, find your dance, and you find a home where you belong.
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