Remembered joy

For a very little while, just a few, short weeks a couple of years ago, I managed to afford dancing lessons. I had always been a dancer and ballroom had replaced the stage after the pointe shoes had to go. But I hadn’t danced for a very long time. Decades.

Writing yesterday’s post and thinking of remembered joy took me back to that first waltz in so very long. The instructor, wanting to assess how much… or how little… I knew… waltzed me once around floor and stopping, with a grinning hobbit at arms length said, “You haven’t forgotten hardly anything.” Then we went back and started again and something inside me was incandescent.

The joy of those first moments of music, movement and dance was something I will never forget… and as my friend had come along too, I have a reminder if ever I needed one. She recorded that first waltz… and many laughter filled moments through quickstep, tango and foxtrot too…

I watched the video again… and again last night. Smiling tears and something that feels very like love go with that little clip.

img_0226cropAfterwards, I wrote:

I write a lot about joy. It is a simple thing, a word of a mere three letters, but it can be such a difficult state to attain in this crazy world in which we live. The stresses and strains of the daily grind, worries about finances, health, work or the state of the nation… the list is endless-seeming and different, but no less consuming, for each of us.

Yet, it need not be so. We can find joy in the most unlikely places and when we are least expecting it. It can be a shaft of sunlight through autumn beeches, a stag on a golf course green, a smile or a song.  We can touch it through a child’s laughter, a blue sky or the sound of pebbles on a wave stroked shore. Wherever we find it, it is born within. It does not come from anywhere outside ourselves, but bubbles up and overflows like champagne from a wellspring of inner life.

So why do I write of it today? Because I am basking in its glow. Last night I danced for the first time in nearly forty years. With that first waltz as my feet miraculously recalled the steps and I sank into the music and movement, the world fell into place. The bare hall could have been a glittering ballroom and the practical leggings and baggy shirt a confection of shimmering silks.. it wouldn’t have mattered a bit. Only that moment mattered.

It is hard to define that moment of pure, unreasoning joy. It is not something we are taught about, nor, I think, something everyone feels automatically. It requires, perhaps, an openness to life and comes when we enter into a moment and live it wholeheartedly and absolutely. It rises from somewhere so profound and engulfs the being, feeling as if it will overflow, something so vast that it cannot be contained within one human form and must burst the boundaries.

Sometimes there seems to be no reason except a simple joy in being alive. Sometimes we know what has triggered it. The catalyst may seem obvious to us, and we may think ‘this makes me happy,’ or even ‘you make me happy’.. yet it is not so. Nothing and no-one makes us feel that inrush of joy. We do that ourselves when we allow ourselves to open the doors of being and hold out our arms to the moment and that feeling. When we experience life on all levels, entering and living it for a time with a conscious abandon.

And this is a great gift, for if joy depended on exterior things, situations and people, think how fragile it would be, how much at the mercy of change and loss. Yet joy, the capacity to feel it, remains… in spite of the impermanence and fluctuation of the material world and our mundane existence.

We are, I think, each responsible for our own capacity for joy. Circumstances may hurt or distress us, events and heartaches overtake us. But that capacity to feel remains, and we have that perfection of free will that allows us the liberty to simply react to outside pressures …or to act as we choose. And I believe we can turn our faces towards possibility and joy.

And it feeds the soul in the same way that light brings the rose to glory.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Dance, Life, Love and Laughter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Remembered joy

  1. jenanita01 says:

    Profoundly beautiful, Sue, reminding me of my own continuing journey to the freedom I still seek, where I may find some joy within my heart… Thank you…


  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    We can find joy in anything we do including waltzing for the first time in 40 years and Sue Vincent​ discovered. Keep Dancing….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alka Girdhar says:

    That’s beautiful. I too used to dance…well all sorts of dance forms but have given it up now. Am inspired.


  4. I absolutely love dancing myself, although some people who have watched me believe I am undergoing electric-shock therapy. In my time I too have taken ball-room dancing lessons, but that was before a university ball when I wanted to at least look as if I half-knew what I was doing. The story of that lesson is a Blog post on its own come to think of it 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs and commented:
    Sometimes we forget to find our inner joy. I loved this – it brought back memoires of the time I learned to dance – something I’ve neglected for years

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Victo Dolore says:

    That was beautiful! And the dancing? You did very well!


  7. Strictly Come Dancing…here I come!

    Wonderful share, Sue. I just love the music in the video…oh, and of course, your dancing as well.


  8. mnghostt says:

    you dance very, very well. loved the vid. do you think it’s true that you only have one true dance partner in life?


  9. I loved this Sue! Thanks for sharing your joy! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved this Sue! Thanks for sharing your joy! 💖


  11. Magnificent. Made me wistful as I haven’t danced in twenty years. Dance on every chance you get. It is indeed a special joy. ❤ ❤ ❤


  12. davidprosser says:

    Reblogged this on The BUTHIDARS and commented:
    For the times in life when the Inner Joy dies a little. Here is the gift of restoration.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. davidprosser says:

    xxx Massive Hugs Sue xxx


  14. …tripping the light fantastic…in every which way, m’Lady, Sue… thanks for sharing 🙂


  15. TanGental says:

    Bravo Sue bravo. There is joy in those smallest moments all the deep er for being unexpected. I love my feeble attempts at dance and enjoy those moments which you perfectly capture.


  16. Gill McGrath says:

    Simply wonderful! thanks!


  17. Made me smile! 😊 So elegant, thanks for sharing


  18. macjam47 says:

    So beautiful. I enjoyed the video. Thanks for sharing.


  19. Eliza Waters says:

    Moments to live for!


  20. olganm says:

    Oh Sue, what a perfect description of JOY and what a wonderful video. I can´t dance for life or money so I can only imagine… 🙂


  21. TamrahJo says:

    Thank you for the profound Joy I experienced just watching your clip – 🙂
    Thank you for the awe-inspiring goose-bumps, too, as I thought, “WoW! And in High Heels, to boot!” – LOL 🙂


  22. Ali Isaac says:

    What a wonderful story! I cant believe you left it so long when it meant so much to you! I’m glad you rediscovered your joy in dancing after so long!


  23. Your words seemed as though you were smiling the whole time you were writing them. And you danced like you were suspended from a string atop your head, floating about the floor.
    ‘Nothing and no-one makes us feel that inrush of joy. We do that ourselves when we allow ourselves to open the doors of being and hold out our arms to the moment and that feeling’. Beautifully written Sue. Xx


  24. Beautiful, Sue. I smiled through the entire piece and danced along with you to the end! Wonderful, just pure joy! 🙂


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