Turning It Up

I grew up with a mother who would blast music at the most random moments of the day and dance by herself whenever possible. She still does this often, and over the years I have come to learn a lot from her random outbursts. When I was younger, I would sit down and just watch as my mother would turn up the tunes and let loose. Laughter would usually follow, but for the most part I never felt the need to join in. At the same time, there was always a part of me that wished I could be the one carelessly spinning around the room to the music.

My mother’s dancing always seemed to explode from within as if it was kicking to come out and she couldn’t dance fast enough. Her hips were always moving to the rhythm at a pace I could never keep up with. Her eyes would glow with delight and she would simply smirk when she noticed me laughing.

Now that I am older, I have come to find that my mother’s spontaneous outbreaks are much more than dancing. While it may seem like a bunch of funny movements and goofy expressions, my mother’s dancing is also a sign of comfort. She is just happy to be in her own skin and nothing else matters. It is inspiring to watch how she holds nothing back.

Nowadays, I have become more like my mother than I ever thought possible. At some point I began to join in instead of sitting and laughing at her. Now I no longer care about who is watching and have let go of all the insecurities I once held about dancing.

I have become the girl who is carelessly moving to the music. At parties, I am the girl who heads straight towards the dance floor. When I move, the music carries me away and my hips take care of the rest.

I love cranking the tunes in my dorm room and dancing like crazy just to get a reaction out of my roommate. I sing along to the music while keeping beat with my body. The whole routine never works as planned, but it always makes us shriek with laughter in the end. It is the excitement of looking totally dumb without feeling embarrassed that makes dancing so fulfilling for me.

When I dance, I am closest to being myself without the pressures of society. It is a bond I share with my mother. And it is a way for me to relax. I believe dance restores balance in my life. It keeps me sane. I believe in the power of dance because it is my way of enjoying the little moments in life.

Amalia Arguello

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