Friday, October 4, 2013

191. Impromptu Dancing

Impromptu dancing definitely isn't something that is unique to long-distance hiking. It is also popular for: cleaning your house and using your broom as a dance partner, getting dressed in the morning and using your shoes as a pair of drumsticks, and standing in the security line at the airport and pulling one of the TSA agents into an elegant waltz. One of the above three options carries with it a higher likelihood of leading to arrest, but you'll just have to figure that out through trial and error.

There's that phrase "dance like no one is watching." I spent some time thinking about that on the trail, and wondering if, for me, it is simply backwards. There were plenty of times that I would be standing on the top of a mountain, all alone because my hiking pace that day had slightly separated me from my hiking group. If I happened to be listening to headphones, the combination of the scenery any the epic music would come over me like a sudden fever. Dance fever.

At this point, I knew that no one was watching. I was in the middle of the woods. It's possible that some squirrels had stopped to judge me, and that the trees flowing down the mountainside in front of me were actually an ocean of Ents. But there were no people, no one to ask what I was doing, no one to raise an eyebrow at my embarassing an insatiable love for Katy Perry. Sometimes another hiker would catch me dancing, and they would either join in or just laugh cheerfully and keep going. This is the magic of the hiking community. 

When I would crouch down, throw out my hands, and then slowly rise with the encroaching crescendo of music in my ears, I wouldn't be preparing to dance like no one was watching. To the contrary, in my head I was a rockstar and this was my music video, and you better believe that I danced like the whole world was watching. If I believed that a huge audience was below the cliff, screaming Clever Girrrrrrrl!! Then I would dance with an abandon similar to Snoopy on his doghouse. This type of thinking could be motivated by my almost complete inability to be embarassed (except for trying to shoot a basketball in front of young people. Heavens, I'd rather get teeth pulled).

Sometimes in the mornings, everyone would be a little sluggish. We'd be bleary-eyed and sleepy, groaning with soreness as we pulled on our backpacks. If there was no one else camping nearby, Whistle would pull out her phone and play a dance song. For the members of M3OWZ3BA!, sudden music is infectious and irresistible. We would wiggle our bums and bob up and down as best we could (intense dancing is difficult with a giant backpack on). It always worked better than coffee, better than a splash of cold water, better than a shower.

Community silliness is the best way to wake up, and the best way to keep going.

Clever Girl


  1. I feel the need to point you to one of my favorite tweets by my favorite band:

  2. Another fabulous post! Made us think of this clip:
    Love! Mom and Dad

  3. how did you get your name, Clever Girl? If it has anything to do with Jurassic Park I'll be in awe of your sheer epicness