We step out with painted feet into this dance.
When the drumming starts, we move our feet haphazardly to the beat of the drums, wavering yet weaving each step into the tapestry set beneath us.
We stumble, trip, and misstep, but older dancers help us up,
We watch their steps… try to move like they do,
Sometimes their movements seem flawed and so we dance to the drum with our own rhythm, moving to the music played but moving to our heart’s dictates.
As we get better at the dance, our movements become constant, steady and monotonous, as we dance to our own beat, made especially for us.
…For some the drum goes silent and their dance is over.
This saddens us, but we cannot stop our dance till our music stops.
As time passes, the music within slows down, but the drums keep on.
Our movements become rigid, forced and weary.
We stumble, trip, miss our steps but younger dancers help us up.
Then when we feel like we can dance no longer our drummers stop…
We look back to see the tapestry we have danced upon,
Our feet’s patterns leave a message for new dancers,
And a story to us of what we have done.
Even though our music had ended and our drums have stopped,
Our tapestry stays on to tell of how we moved, jumped, swirled and skipped,
To tell of our dance from starting note till the last drumbeat.
We danced the dance to our own music, even though the drums were played for us.
We moved to rhythm made from within us, this tapestry can never be lost.
It is our gift to those who follow in this dance of life.
This our African dance.