Her Dance – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

"Remember your dance?
The young girl inside me
calls out, 

Dad told me how, as a baby,
I sat on the floor rocking side to side,
just smiling.

Later I was known to start the day 
with only one shoe
my frustrated mother shaking her head
while the school bus left me behind again.

I was a girl who thrived
climbing trees, running through woods
I wasn't hyperactive, just a mover.
Running brought temporary relief.

The only dancing I knew growing up  
drill teams of painted girls, 
performance dancers
that wasn't me.

Finding social dancing in my 20's 
was like a drug. 
Swinging partners in dancehalls
escaping thoughts I didn't know how to turn off. 
Anxiety, the never ending loop of ideas. 
I found myself in the music. 
I floated free. 

It is never too late 
to turn the music on
find your sway, sashay 
surrender to internal movement 

Your body has not forgotten.
Your brain has many incredible ideas 
but your heart is the one who knows
how to dance with the world.

Listen inward
find the place 
where your freedom

© Ali Grimshaw 2021

“When Gillian was 8 years old, her hyperactivity — which earned her the nickname Wriggle-Bottom — led her mother to take her to a family doctor. While he examined Gillian, the doctor put on some music and asked Mrs. Pyrke to leave the room with him. “Out they went and the minute they had gone I started to dance to the music, even going up on his desk,” Ms. Lynne wrote in her autobiography, “A Dancer in Wartime” (2012). “What I hadn’t noticed was that his door was one of those beautiful old glass ones with etched designs through which the doctor and my mother were watching.” As they observed Gillian dancing with abandon, she recalled, the doctor said: “There is no trouble with this child, Mrs. Pyrke. She is a natural dancer — you must take her to dance class.” – Gillian Lynne, Choreographer of ‘Cats,’ Is Dead at 92 from The New York Times

Join Open Link Night on dVerse Poets Pub HERE


23 thoughts on “Her Dance – Poem by Ali Grimshaw

  1. This poem hits the spot. I began dancing with a glorious group, the Crows Feet Dance Collective, at 65. I have never stopped since then,so it certainly is never too late to turn the music on. (I’m not a “good” dancer: but I do my best.) Joy, exhilaration,excitement and friendship are the by products.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel,
      Thank you for sharing your story with me. How brave you are to begin dancing at 65. Many people would never take that chance. I hope that I will always be willing to be a beginner no matter my age. It makes me smile to hear that you connected with this poem in a personal way. Thank you for taking the time to share. It made my day.
      Wishing you many years of dancing fun.


  2. ‘but your heart is the one who knows
    how to dance with the world.’

    A wonderful poem, Ali – I especially love these lines! We must all learn to dance to the tune of the song in our hearts!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very inspirational poem, Ali. I couldn’t see the NYT article but I went to youtube and watched Andrew Lloyd Webber talk about what she did for the English stage with Cats and other productions. Thank goodness her doctor had some common sense!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Dance gene is one I was born without, I guess, which is odd, given my musical obsessions, my inability to forget any lyric (no matter how forgettable), and (according to My Beloved Sandra) my totally annoying habit of singing, humming, or (worst of all) whistling incessantly at the worst of possible moments.

    Your poem, here, makes me want to try incorporating movement, though I know that’s totally unlikely at this late stage.
    An awesome poem indeed, AG. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ron, I too am often humming through my day.
      I hope this poem inspires you to follow your own inner artist wherever he takes you today. No dancing required.
      Thanks for reading.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.