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Freedom of dancing can be sheer joy, release

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The 20-something DJ with the highlighted Mohawk played everything from Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Billy Idol to the dubstep version of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.”

And the people danced.

Eighty-two-year-old Frank Hommel danced with two of his sisters, Joan Funk and Sandy Watson, along with his four daughters (Leta, Debbie, Jerri and me) to an Usher song. Trafalgar residents and sisters Brenda Johnson and Cathy Foley led their cousins, second cousins, mother and aunts doing the Gangnam-style dance, which became popular last summer — kind of a “horse-riding lasso” dance.

My cousin Angie danced with her daughter Kelly and Kelly’s husband of one year, Brent Benbow, who serves in the U.S. Army based in Alexandria, Va.

My aunts Janet Olivo and Joan and Sandy Watson laughed and danced nearly to midnight.

From 5 years old to 85 — they danced. They smiled. They laughed.

Sixteen-year-old cousins Phoebe and Madi danced the

Grandmaster Slice version of the Electric Slide with their aunts, great-aunts, one brave uncle, cousins and second cousins. My cousins Rob(bie), the school principal and his sister Darla danced among their young adult daughters.

My cousin Donna Muller, encircled by a sea of friends and family, danced in the middle of the circle of joy.

Donna also danced with her son, Luke Muller; while Luke’s new bride, Caitlin, danced with her father, Bryon Rector.

What is it about weddings that brings out the dancing? What is it about dancing that brings people together?

Whatever it is, dancing has brought people together for thousands of years. Archaeologists studying the First Dynasty of Egypt around 3000 B.C. found reliefs showing a kind of dance; and as culture in Egypt advanced, paintings were made showing musicians and dancers. Probably a wedding.

It is recorded that in America, Australia and Africa, the aboriginal people danced both for spiritual reasons and for entertainment — dancing for almost everything from the potlatch to the funeral.

Even King Solomon knew the importance of dancing. During his reign, around 935 B.C., Ecclesiastes 3 was written:

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven —

“A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

“A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up.

“A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance ….”

We should all make the time to dance — the outward expression of joy.

Plus, there is no better feeling when you’re in the middle of your “robot/dubstep” individual dance to see your three daughters looking at you with wide-eyed shock. Dancing can be sheer joy.

Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters.

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