• Caren

praise dancing


as i type this, the thin, warbly noise of about half a dozen singing voices rises up from the depths of my basement. who is it? my mother and her friends. dancing and singing in front of the television.

this is no buns of steel. this is not your sister's pilates. this is not even jazzercise.

no no. this is praise dancing.

a white-haired woman in a hot pink sweat suit instructs her audience on macarena-like moves to a sizzlin' track of chinese worship music. to get a feel for it: hit your arm with the opposite hand while saying, "yum yum yum yum!" sometimes my mom will make a kicking motion and scream, "kick out the devil!" usually followed by hysterical laughing. i used to laugh too. now i only look on in bafflement.

she even brought the DVD to maryland last week when we went to see the engs. and both sets of parents wriggled and pumped in different parts of the living room. one dance consisted almost entirely of pelvic thrusts and shouts of "hoi! hoi!".

maybe the "hoi" screaming is my imagination. but they may as well have been.

i feel like i'm cheapening the experience by writing about it. unless you have seen it, you will never truly know.