Delph’s dance show – I’ll get to that in a sec. Here’s the thing that really hit me today. Ever since Delph and I have been coming to Greenwich over the last few months, it’s been like opening a window into the future.
I don’t know if this window is going to stay open. It’s a crazy, tempting view. It’s made me think: is inclusive dance really Delphine’s future? Will she find herself one day living in this world? The whole thing has been a bit breathtaking. Partly because, when Delph and I have been coming home to Wales, it’s been hard to share these thoughts two-hundred-and-fifty-miles away at the edge of the world with our family. Borth kind of does that to you.
I guess I needed them to see it for themselves. Not just the dance either, but the whole thing. The experience of travelling through London. Being in the neighbourhood. Walking through physical doors and meeting the people who have made this such a powerful experience.
So, we all went to see Delph’s performance. I mean, except Fin of course. Fin just flat-out refuses to leave Borth these days. Crossing the Atlantic must do that to a dog. We left her with Jack’s stepmum, Vronnie instead. Luckily, Vronnie never refuses to have Fin and Fin likes to protect Vronnie. It’s a win-win for those two.
The plan was set. Then, in the midst of all that beautiful weather, Lulu threw another protest about coming to London. See, originally she didn’t want to come. And I don’t say that as a criticism either. I don’t. She’s a teenager. Despite her unpredictability, this is also her time to start detaching from us. Detaching is never easy. More and more research shows this behaviour is wired-in developmentally. That means deep breath and hold on together because it is normal. In line with this physiological research, Lulu wanted to stay at her friend’s house this weekend. We almost said yes. Thank God for last-minute turnarounds – we said no. She had to come with us and see her sister perform.
What we didn’t know, when she was busy protesting against this idea, was how things would change. For starters, we discovered that despite Delph repeatedly telling us the dance show would only be 15 minutes long, there were actually four other inclusive dance companies performing. We were in for an hour-long performance and with it, a recipe for anything happening.
I mean anything happening because inclusive dance is so amazing. It reveals a humanness I’ve not seen in any other form. Most sports, as wonderful as they are, are concentrated on the aesthetic. How perfect we can be – skilled at kicking a ball, swinging a metal iron just the right way, or performing an impossible flying leap. These physical feats are about getting so good at something, excellence is expressed as perfection. Inclusive dance is different. It isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being human.
Wait for it. It was the stuff I couldn’t explain. It’s the stuff we have to see.