Things A Man Should Be Able To Do

Many thanks to our friend AVI, who kindly sent me a pair of works by and about Chesterton. One of them, The Man Who Was Chesterton, begins thus:
There are normal things that a normal man ought to do, as he sleeps or wakes or walks. One of them is to sing, to a plain tune with a common chorus, as our fathers did round their supper tables. Another is to dance, however clumsily, at least some of the dances of his native land. Another is to speak with clearness and moderate cogency in any council of his equals or on any not disreputable public occasion. Another is to recite poetry if he likes it; another is to be at ease and tolerably intimate with domestic animals; another is to know, even slightly, the uses of some weapon; another is to know common remedies for quite common maladies. And another is to be able to write down in pen and ink what he really thinks about public questions, and why he thinks it: which is all that I have done here.
Now I can claim a normal man's capacity in all of these things, except possibly to dance however clumsily at least some of the dances of my native land. In fact I was only ever taught one, and have not endeavored to learn more: indeed I have hardly used the waltz save at rare family weddings.

That it deserves to be titled a 'dance of my native land,' however, is beyond question.

What can you do?


E Hines said...

All of that, save dance. I can't even do one. I paid a professional dance-teaching studio, and it was a waste of my money. My own daughter, herself a one-time dance teacher (as opposed to instructor) has failed to teach me to dance.

There are many dances I wish I could do, if only for the coordination and sense of rhythm I'd learn.

Eric Hines

douglas said...

Sometimes I think people think of dance as some magical artistic talent, and it can be, but if you can learn to throw a punch combination after a dodge, or learn to step, turn, and swing to hit a baseball, you can learn to dance. forget about the art, and just make the motions a mission as if learning to throw or catch or any other movement. You can add 'art' later, or just let how you do it be how you do it- your version is your art.