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I completely and shamelessly blame my lack of rhythm on my Mennonite upbringing. For those of you who do not know much about Mennonites, here is a quick synopsis: we are a denomination of Protestantism that believes passionately in pacifism and walking in the footsteps of Jesus and, due to this, many of us believe strongly in the power social justice. Also, we typically do not dance.

Kindergarten through 12th grade I attended a Mennonite affiliated school which meant no proms and no homecomings and no talk of the beautiful connection between the body and the spirit and how dancing can free the soul.

Last night at the bakery an old woman leaning heavily on a cane placed a few extra coins in my tip jar. “So you can go dancing,” she said.

Normally I would have tried to stifle a chuckle, thinking, “Oh lady, if only you knew the danger of the statement. Me, dancing? Ha!” But instead all I could do was smile at such a simple but profound phrase.

So you can go dancing. Her words keep ringing in my ears and I feel more and more compelled to claim them as my New Year’s theme.

So you can go dancing, oh you of little rhythm and grace. You of a restless, wandering spirit. You of an unsettled heart. Soย youย can go dancing.

I want this new year to be about the things that make me dance, in every and any sense of the word. I want to grasp what sets my soul free. I want to move my feet to the rhythm of life lived in the present. I want to embrace challenges in spite of my two left feet and the trepidation that comes with them.

So on this New Year’s Day I wish you a few more coins in your jar so you too may go dancing.

Happy New Year!

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