Between the Lines: The fastest, most direct route to the truth

By David Lias

So many things to comment on this week.

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin won’t be a candidate in 2014.

President Obama seems to be up to his ears in controversy, with questions being raised about the White House handling of the terrorist attack on Benghazi, outrage over revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party groups, and charges that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the AP in what the news agency called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

But, it’s a beautiful spring day currently in Vermillion – one of the first we’ve experienced this season. It has me in the mood to focus on the positive, and on the beautiful – right here at home.

The Vermillion Area Dance Organization (VADO) held its spring recital Sunday afternoon in the Vermillion High School Performing Arts Center. It was quite a performance that showcased a lot of hard work and practice and the first steps by young people in the area of mastering this art form.

Most of the dancers were kids – some were very young, just beyond the toddler stage. But much more than kids’ play was going on Sunday afternoon. And I, blessed with the ability to barely walk a straight line, am hardly one to comment on why dance is important. I just know it is. And I hope the community will agree that it is, too.

Maybe this will help. I’m sharing excerpts of a piece written by the late choreographer Gabrielle Roth, who notes:

“Dance is the fastest, most direct route to the truth ­­– not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get down and personal kind, the what’s-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth. We dance to reclaim our brilliant ability to disappear in something bigger, something safe, a space without a critic or a judge or an analyst.

We dance to fall in love with the spirit in all things, to wipe out memory or transform it into moves that nobody else can make because they didn’t live it. We dance to hook up to the true genius — to seek refuge in our originality and our power to reinvent ourselves; to shed the past, forget the future and fall into the moment feet first. Remember being fifteen, possessed by the beat, by the thrill of music pumping loud enough to drown out everything you’d ever known?

We love beats that move faster than we can think, beats that drive us ever deeper inside, that rock our worlds, break down walls and make us sweat our prayers. Prayer is moving. Prayer is offering our bones back to the dance. Prayer is letting go of everything that impedes our inner silence. God is the dance and the dance is the way to freedom and freedom is our holy work.

We dance to survive, and the beat offers a yellow brick road to make it through the chaos that is the tempo of our times. We dance to shed skins, tear off masks, crack molds, and experience the breakdown – the shattering of borders between body, heart and mind, between genders and generations, between nations and nomads. We are the transitional generation.”

I took a ton of pictures at Sunday’s concert, and I’ve posted them in our Spotted gallery. Log on to and you’ll find images of local faces falling “in the moment feet first.”

Go on, do it now. State political issues can wait. So can the latest news on Benghazi.

Take a moment to simply “get into the spirit” of dance.




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