This year marks the 15th anniversary of Chubby Checker's mega-hit, "The Twist." Checker himself is celebrating by performing in venues across the country.
"The Twist" is the only single to hit number one TWICE -- in 1960 and 1962. Other than being the most successful single of all time, the dance introduced a new style of dancing to mainstream America: dancing on your own.
Checker described this revolution in song and style as, "Dancing apart from the beat." Women no longer had to wait for a partner to lead the way. They were free to come up with their own steps!
This was just the start of many other freedoms coming down the road for women in the years following "The Twist," including freedom from unplanned pregnancies and the freedom to pursue careers. Still, even now, there is more to be done because most women make less than what men earn. Also, women often work two or three shifts when housework and caregiving are considered.
However, women don't have to choose the limited roles of the past. Today, most women can decide when, where, with whom, and how, they will dance. Yes, there are forces beyond our control that can limit our options, but we ought not to be ashamed, or afraid, of dancing by ourselves.
Feminists probably wouldn't recognize the significance of "The Twist" in female emancipation, nevertheless, there is something to be said for dancing by yourself. It speaks to finding joy from within. Don't get me wrong, dancing with a partner is great and can be very fulfilling. Let's face it, some people love synchronized steps. However, partners aren't always available or they may not be inclined to join you.
There are times when you have to crank up the music and go it alone. Not everyone has the wherewithal, or desire, to travel the world in search of themselves like the woman in "Eat, Pray, Love." (Or was her real goal finding romance?)
Every woman has the ability to find her inner dance from right where she is now. It may be in the midst of turmoil and upheaval, or during a time of solitude and tranquility. Whatever the case, JUST DANCE!
Even though Checker exhorted women with, "Come on Baby" and, "Come Here Little Miss" no doubt, once women got on the dance floor, they realized they were on their own to twist up, down, left and right.
You ARE on your own, and it's okay! Create your own steps. Twist to your own music. Eyes closed and FREE!
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