After emigrating from Aruba with my family at the age of five, I lived in a very full apartment in Atlanta. We moved into the cramped spaced with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. My favorite event during those years would be salsa dance breakout sessions in the living room. Sometimes these dances would begin after the kids (which included me) were tucked into bed. But we’d hear the music and come back out to join the boogie. We were welcomed, and the most incredible memories were made.
There are many things that I loved about living with my relatives, but salsa was by far the best part of the arrangement. Life was tight but it was good. All the adults in our household worked very hard, but we still had little money and had to pull together to get by. We were dependent on each other. Just like dance partners, we could not do the dance of life alone. The dependency I experienced at such a young age taught me many things. It transformed my heart into one that can receive. Somehow this need for other people left me tender and open.
I learned early on how to be more than just one person.
I am confident that the Christian life requires this kind of oneness; this dance of dependency. We are called first to dependency on God which sets us free.
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” --Isa 41:13
And then to dependency on one another. Jesus is so bold; he tells us to consider ourselves as sharing the same body and belonging to one another.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” --Rom 12:4-5
What is the best part of a dance? To me it is the simplicity of linking up with someone. Sure it can be hard to salsa. It takes work to learn complimenting footsteps. But you come together to get it right (and wrong). You come together to care for one another. You come together to place yourself in another’s hands. You come together to not be alone.
Salsa speaks of all of these things. It is a count in step to life between people; people coming together to share something beautiful.
Salsa is a dance we should all know. What would happen if we all knew salsa? Or, what if we just allowed relationships to be essential for that matter? I suspect we’d learn that we’re not alone and we were never meant to be.
Look for a salsa class near you and experience the joy of salsa for yourself.
Click HERE for info on great classes in the D.C. area.