I met my husband Alan in a modern dance company. He was a beautiful dancer whose training included not only a variety of modern dance techniques but ballet, East Indian dance, and jazz. By his own admission, jazz was not his strong suit. Whenever he tried to adopt a cool jazz style with lots of hip action, he came across as, well… dorky.
Alan loves telling the story of a jazz teacher approaching him after class one day and asking him what he wanted to do with dance.
“I’m hoping to pursue concert modern dance,” my husband said.
Looking visibly relieved, his teacher said, “Oh! Well, that’s good then.” Clearly, he didn’t think my husband had much of a future in jazz dance.
But I can honestly say that Alan has fully embraced his dorkiness. One of the funniest dances he ever created is called “Idiot’s Pavane” in which he exaggerates his unsuccessful efforts to look hip and cool. For years, we included this piece in our dance company’s school visits. It was a huge favorite. Kids love to laugh at ridiculous adults.
My husband and I have long since hung up our dancing shoes in public, but privately, we still like to move. Every night while we’re making dinner (note the royal “we”—he’s the chef in our duo), Alan intermittently performs a variety of jazz moves in all his dorky glory. No matter how badly the day has gone, I can’t help it. I giggle. And then I giggle some more.
It’s a cliché to say that “laughter is the best medicine,” but it’s true. No matter how bad my day has been, my husband can coax a laugh out of me, and I invariably feel better.
In fact, a growing body of research indicates that laughing does wonders for our physical and emotional health. It strengthens our immune system, helps relieve stress, and connects us to others. It’s hard to take ourselves too seriously when we’re laughing. Especially during a pandemic, humor can really help.
So, inspired by my husband, I’ve decided to fully embrace my dorkiness. Alan doesn’t get to be the only ridiculous person in this marriage who inspires laughs.
After all, it’s for his health.
And now dear readers, I’d love to know what role humor plays in your life.
Meantime, coming next week is another “Meet the Author” guest spot, this time featuring prolific author Beth Daniels,, who also writes under the pen names of J.B. Dane, Beth Henderson, and Nied Darnell. Look for her guest blog on Saturday, December 19th.