I hope you’ve enjoyed my Yantai China stories so far. This story happens to be one of my favorites because it truly shows the heart of Yantai. Before I left for China, my friend Sarah who had lived in the bustling city previously, told me about people coming together and dancing at night. Could you imagine it? People freely dancing under the stars. Each group danced a different style. Ballroom, modern, even tai-chi. When I heard of this gathering, I knew I had to experience it for myself, so when it finally came time to leave for China, it never left my mind that I had to see the “Yantai dancers.”
Discovery List Task #112, it’s a random task to be on the list. It was in the very first draft of the Discovery List but I took it off a while ago, I later put it back on. Maybe it’s the romantic in me, what a sweet thought, slow dancing outdoors! I thought I was the only one who felt this way until I went to China and found out that there, it’s not only socially acceptable, it’s a custom! China is my kind of place! I knew that dancing outdoors is something they did from the stories my friend told me, but I never thought I’d end up dancing myself, and because I did, I was able to check this random yet beautiful task off my list!
It was day six in China and I was enjoying every minute of it. It was a long day of exploring and we found ourselves at a mall downtown. When my friend Sarah let us know that we were right by the night dancing! Even though I was tired I mustered up the strength to go. As we walked down the street we saw shapes dancing in the night. The closer I got, the more excited I became! Just like she said, all kinds dancing groups, each group playing their own music, all the music blending together creating one song. We stopped at each group the look at each style. We tried our best to dance along on the side (it was embarrassing.) Then we saw ballroom dancing from a far, and we made our way to them. It was a beautiful sight.
There was this old man, dancing with his partner. He twirled her around with precision and grace. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, I filmed the couple as they put the younger dancers to shame. Then, I could never have imagined what would happen…
As I was looking at them from behind the camera lens, I noticed that they had stopped dancing and he was walking straight toward me. I looked up and he was asking me to dance.
Let me tell you a little about me. I love to dance! But I can be a little clumsy! Nothing an experienced ballroom dancer couldn’t fix. At first, it was a little clunky and clumsy, I was staring at my feet to make sure I followed his, and he would kindly instruct me to look up in Chinese. I may or may not have stepped on his foot a few times, but he only laughed and helped me get back on track. Here an there He’d instruct me in Chinese, and although I didn’t know exactly what he was saying, I understood him.
I’ve only taken one ballroom class before in my life and this is what I learned in the class; there is a leader and a follower. The leader signals the patterns of a dance through movement. The follower must be sensitive to the signals of a leader and respond accordingly. And as the couple is in this pattern of lead and follow, they are both leading and following symphoniously. If the follower takes their time responding to the leader’s movement, the leader has to follow that movement. The follower can also create resistance from the leader’s movement. The two become in sync and together, they create a beautiful dance.
You have to connect with your partner to dance, the follower pursues the leader’s movements and the two become so in sync that the follower can almost predict the move before the leader executes it. And even though we were different and from opposite ends of the world. Him Chinese, me African American, him speaking Mandarin, and me speaking English, we didn’t have to be the same or speak the same language to understand each other. We just danced. When the song was over, I said a faint, xièxiè and we both bowed.
Maybe he didn’t know exactly why I thanked him, but honestly, it’s because I got to check a special task off of my list. And it was a reminder that the Discovery List isn’t just a bunch of fun tasks on a list, it’s real life experiences that come true when you least expect them!
Live a life that’s muzic to your ears!
What Is a Discovery List?
The Discovery List is a list filled with 100 or more things you want to do in your life, it’s your dreams, your hopes, and your fantasies? Discover who you really are as you achieve each task on your Discovery List. Write it, believe it, achieve it! The Discovery List will be your best friend on your journey to self-discovery and self-love. Join me as I achieve tasks on my Discovery List one by one! Get your free Discovery List workbook and start your adventure!