yesterday at dance class a woman in front of me was very insistent that Amara, our teacher, play a song in tribute to the late Etta James. several times she called out, "play something by Etta," which Amara either ignored or sincerely didn't hear. I was thinking the choreography and songs were probably set well in advance of the class so it would possibly be tricky to make such a last-minute substitution, but my neighbor had faith that Amara could come through.
we danced, spinning and grooving and shimmying, for almost an hour. Amara told us that the year of the dragon would be all about shaking your booty. she also mentioned that this was going to be a good year.
finally it was time to sit down on our mats for leg and ab work. gingerly, we helped our shaking muscles to the floor, preparing for the burn. and then, from the stereo in front of the room the voice of Etta belted out:
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
what better measure of any life than a room full of sweaty woman celebrating you with crunches while outside the enormous warehouse windows the winter rain keeps coming down.