What We Believe: Jolaine Jones-Pokorney

jolaine2Adults at Play

Play is essential. Children know it, but many adults have forgotten. Contra Dancing (and other forms of community dancing) is adults at play. I am loosed from the constraints of acting like an adult and get to revisit the playful abandon of childhood. The contra dance community creates a world where playful clothing, jewelry, make-up are allowed and encouraged, no matter your gender. We create a safe space for physical contact with other people. I get to let my body respond to live music played by dear friends.

But being playful is much more than having fun. If I "seek the spirit of a child" in the contra dance, it means that I learn to have fun even when the entire dance breaks down, increasing joy and decreasing stress and anxiety. It means I learn to drop my judgments about whether others are "doing it right," increasing my ability to empathize and care. Contra dancing helps me accept each person's body as perfect. If I can learn to do these things in the culture of the dance community, I can learn to do it in my work and my home and my world.

Play is essential. Contra dance is adults at play.

JoLaine is a contra dancer and caller from Gainesville, FL. Learn more about her on her website.