I've got you…Frank, and all that came with him!

After a day well spent in Lisbon, this one popped-up just as I got home.

There was a time when I listened to Frank a lot. I collected a large sample of his work throughout the years, and it was really the start of my fascination for all things vintage, specially music and dance. For me, it opened the door to my favourite Blues Ladies (Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald), and to an array of other performers from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

Like Billie Holiday, he also did not have any sort of formal musical training, which I find fascinating. It reminds me of Amália Rodrigues who also had none, and is still considered one of the most beautiful voices of the 20th century, side by side with the likes of Maria Callas.

Movies and Dance where other areas that listening to Frank Sinatra made me explore. Some came Running, High Society, are just examples of movies I came to watch thanks to Frank. It helped me realize that cinema had been around for a long time, and many of the early productions are amazing works of art that are really worth watching.

On the dance side of things, only last October did I get to finally learn a little bit of Lindy Hop, my favourite kind of Swing dance, after years of wanting to learn. It was a big challenge and if it wasn’t for J’s support I am not sure I would have continued as the first times were really difficult. I felt like it was too technical for me, and I was no good at it.

The truth is, most of us are used to some sort of freestyle dancing nowadays, and anything that looks structured is just way too complex. But after some practice I realized I could just relax, enjoy, and “freestyle” my way through the dance. My brain learnt the new steps, and it’s amazing to see how they just seem to come naturally after a while.

The most difficult thing was dancing with a partner in a “leader/follower” paradigm. Maybe it’s just me, but being a XXIst century woman, being a follower was not really in my vocabulary. It seemed the other girls and boys had the exact same problem. Everyone seemed to find “listening” to the partner’s signals the most difficult thing. It seems we are so used to dance alone we were not being able to communicate through dance as previous generations used to.

I find that a bit sad, and wished I could continue dancing with a partner, and train my brain to “listen” to other kinds of communication integrated in a complex music/movement/social situation. It’s an amazing experience!


About Rita BA

I read, I write, I think, I dream, I write a bit more...
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