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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane


"You're gonna swing dance in this weather? Are you insane?"

I've been asked that a lot lately, which isn't surprising when you consider this summer's humidity and heat wave. New York City's weather has been so unbearable, that felons have switched from car theft to stealing AC's.

Since sweating is against my religion, I'm astonished by my own eagerness to dance. I'll whine (and wilt) at the very thought of walking a block to buy a bottle of milk. Yet I'll actually show up at a dance club without calling first to make sure nobody's stolen its cooling units.

Swing dancing is surely an addiction -- there's no other explanation for my behavior. After all, I've been complaining since early May about the sweat buildup connected with getting out of bed.

And not only have I been using the heat generated by a stove as an excuse not to cook, but I'll munch on something too frozen to be identified to avoid using the toaster oven.

Yet I'll swing joyously for hours with hubby Mark, surrounded and occasionally kicked by perspiration-coated dancers. I'll even go out of my way to find sweaty swing venues that charge buckets full of damp cash for the privilege.

Now that doesn't mean I won't complain bitterly about the weather the very moment each swing binge comes to an end. Nor does it mean I won't trample anyone who blocks my path to the closest shower. It doesn't even mean I won't freak out if Mark comes near me before scrubbing off several layers of viscous gook.

But while we're in the throes of throwing one another around the dance floor, stuff that ordinarily bothers me doesn't seem to matter. Neither sweat nor blows nor excruciating muscle pain can stop me (or Mark) from enjoying the rush we get from swing dancing.

We can make complete fools of ourselves, screwing up step after step. We can injure our fellow dancers and mangle each other. We can be victimized by klutzy, space-hogging jitterbuggers. Our bodies can beg for food and drink. But though we'll bitch and moan about this once the dancing is over, we're impervious the entire time we're lurching around the floor.

So I guess my point is that it's important to do things you love. And that if you're really enthused about something, you can ignore almost anything, no matter how unpleasant or annoying or...

Sorry. Gotta cut this short. It's too damn hot and humid to write.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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