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DAVID ARCHULETA

Posts Tagged ‘Shall We Dance?’

The Ring, The Dance, and David Archuleta

Posted by skydancer1x on Friday, November 1, 2013

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My Dad and his older sister Madeline shared the same birthday, October 25th. I always thought that was really special. She would always say he was “the best birthday present ever!” Madeline was the protector of her youngest sibling, but as they aged, it was my father who became protective of his oldest sister.

Several years after her husband’s passing and the loss of her two beloved companion dogs, my father worried about his sister living alone. Convincing her to move, she sold her home and her belongings in Massachusetts and moved to a lovely retirement community in Florida, very close to where we lived. She had a furnished apartment with all the comforts of home.

Madeline quickly made friends in her new surroundings and before long, she and several of her new friends signed up for ballroom dancing lessons. They eventually began traveling all over the state for competitions.

My Dad became concerned and skeptical about the outflow of money and the time his sister was spending with dance, and felt that she might be part of a giant scam to separate widows and lonely ladies from their life savings. He felt she was being foolish, a woman her age being “paraded” around the dance floor often with a much younger dance instructor/partner. But Madeline was having a wonderful time anyway and continued dancing, knowing that her brother wasn’t going to come around to her way of thinking.

I loved hearing about Auntie Madeline’s little adventures and road trips as much as she loved talking about them. Her eyes lit up when she spoke of her new-found passion. But my Dad remained concerned, and others in the family continued to relentlessly tease her.

Less than a decade after she had come to enjoy her life in Florida, Madeline’s life came to an end. I recall going with my mother to the apartment where she lived to pack up her personal belongings. In her closet hung her many beautiful dresses, including several incredible ballroom gowns, many pairs of lovely shoes, and boxes of sparkling jewelry.

In a corner of her living room, a special glass étagère held her dance trophies, pictures of family, photos of Madeline and her friends at the dance studio and dance competitions, and group pictures of them sharing a meal at restaurants in different cities.They looked like they were having the time of their lives. In every single picture, Auntie Madeline was laughing or smiling. I commented to my mother how beautiful and happy she looked in those pictures with her friends.

I left the next morning on an early flight to return home. On saying goodbye, my mother handed me a small black ring box. As I opened it, she said “Auntie Madeline wanted you to have this.” Inside the box was a lovely ring. Once back home, I put the ring into my jewelry box, and there it remained a memory, untouched for many years.

Enter David Archuleta, and the eventual, inevitable, state of ODD.

Friends didn’t understand me; my family didn’t either. “Why are you ALWAYS talking about that David Archuleta kid? What is wrong with you? Aren’t you a little bit too old to be listening to a teenage pop singer? You drove to another state alone? You flew halfway across the country for a concert, that’s just crazy! You shared a hotel room with someone you had never met? “

Their comments were hurtful. I started to wonder what was happening to me. I had found something I was so excited about, and yet no one close to me could relate. I came to have enough of the endless teasing and hurtful comments I encountered when I tried to share what I had come to know about David, the person, David, the singer and performer, and his beautiful voice that had stolen my heart. I kept wishing they would see what I saw, could hear what I heard, the absolute level of joy I received listening to the Voice and seeing the smile of this most incredibly talented and special young man. Those closest to me didn’t understand that David Archuleta was becoming a permanent resident of my heart.

I decided to just not bring up the subject of David anymore, to family, or the people I worked with, or friends, but the teasing continued, unabated. I actually eventually became somewhat disengaged with the people who seemed to belittle me, more than tease, and remain more engaged with those who were just happy for me, that I always seemed to wear an inner smile on my face.

One random, rainy, Saturday, I decided to weed out my jewelry box and organize its contents. I opened the long neglected box that contained the lovely ring that Auntie Madeline had given me. I removed it, and slipped it onto my finger. To my surprise, it fit perfectly, years after I had put it away. I smiled and felt my aunt’s presence as I looked at the ring, admiringly. Then the tears came as memories flooded back. I understood now. Madeline too had ODD but not for a person. She, too, had endured the looks, the endless teasing about something that gave her much joy.

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But she didn’t let it stop her. She didn’t sit on the sidelines. She danced until she no longer was able. She plunged in, full steam ahead, and did what gave her so much joy, despite being ridiculed by some because of her “age.” She followed her heart, and her passion, abandoning worry about those who thought she was wasting her time and her money. She didn’t let others opinions of her matter. She wasn’t hurting anyone. Her age didn’t stop her. She was young at heart. She would have loved David Archuleta, and he would have loved her “go for it” attitude. I believe David sees our hearts, not our wrinkles, and that he loves his fans of all ages.

Since that rainy day, I wear the ring often on my finger, as my Auntie’s reminder to me, to embrace the people, and the moments, that bring you happiness. Be the age inside your heart. From Madeline to me, and me to you, “I HOPE YOU DANCE.”

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Skydancer is a staff writer for The Voice.

Posted in @DavidArchie, @kariontour, Archies, Dance, David Archuleta, fandom | Tagged: , , | 129 Comments »

The Effect of Chilean Dancing on Man-in-the-Making David Archuleta

Posted by bebereader on Monday, November 19, 2012


Gif by ADRM-X titled “Dancing Sun”

Article title pilfered from the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.”

When the words “dancing” and “Chile” are in the same sentence, visions of David dancing Salsa onstage at the JAS Arena in Rancagua come to mind, thanks to Gladys’ brilliant recap. But I learned that while Salsa and Tango may be popular dances in Latin America, they are not the only options.

Like all cultures, Chileans engage in popular and traditional folk dancing to celebrate cultural rituals. Chile prides itself on a traditional dance called “la Cueca” which became the national dance in 1979. Done at weddings, parties, and family gatherings, la cueca is taught to kids in elementary schools in Chile. Dance is an important part of Chilean culture.

The Cueca dancers dress in traditional colorful costumes with men in cowboy hats, horse riding pants, short jackets and riding boots with spurs. Women wear flowered dresses with aprons. They wave handkerchiefs in the air, mimicking playful romantic courting between a hen and a rooster. The character of the male performer is the aggressor and the female performer is  elusive and demure.

The choreography of the Cueca is what makes it so appealing. Clap, clap, step, step, swing that handkerchief over your head… don’t fall, step again, now circle your partner… forward, back and pretend you’re a hen…There is an imaginary circle with the male performer in one half and the female in the other. In sync with the background music, the dance always starts with the man extending his arm as an offer to the woman to dance with him. The dance partners stand face to face at a distance from each other. Before the couple starts to dance, they begin clapping their hands to the music. Subtly flirtatious, couples move around each other in circles but all of the flirting is done with eye contact and body movement. There is barely any touching in this dance.

La Cueca is performed at every important festival in Chile, especially on September 18, Chilean Independence Day.  Elder Archuleta could not have missed native Chileans performing this dance on that day.

There are other dances that are specific to different parts of Chile. In the north they celebrate the Fiesta de La Tirana in which the dancers wear demonic masks. In central Chile la Cueca rules and different variations of it are done. In Santiago the the peasant style, ballroom style and the Cueca Brava dominate. In the south there are religious Mapuche dances such as the Nguillatún and the Machitún in which prayers are offered to the supreme god Ngenechen and to the sacred canelo tree. A little farther south, among fishermen and farmers, the steps are livelier, to shake away the cold. In the Costillar dance, two men compete, dancing around a bottle placed in the middle of the dance floor, and the one who kicks the bottle over is the loser.

In October 2011, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Chile celebrated it’s fifty year anniversary of formal missionary work. Members gathered at a week-long celebration to commemorate the event. They celebrated in part by doing traditional dances of the country. The dances start at 1:15 in this video and at 2:50 there’s even a dance that resembles the Mexican Hat Dance.

Video courtesy of Mormon Channel/YouTube

The Chileans are passionate, colorful and religious people. They show this in their music and dance which are both integral parts of their culture. And here comes that vision of David dancing Salsa again.  Ay Carumba!

Posted in Chile, Dance, David Archuleta | Tagged: , , | 56 Comments »

 
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