Among the short films nominated for an Academy Award in 2006 (you can get the DVD on Netflix) is a film set in Senegal, called Binta and the Great Idea. It’s an enjoyable movie, told from the perspective of a young girl. But what moved me most was the clip of people dancing. As feet pounded, hips and behinds shook, one person at a time would go into the center of the circle as everyone else cheered in support while dancing around them.
It brought the night I walked down a dark street in Senegal and heard festive music vibrate in the black air. A group of strangers drew me into their celebration and into the circle. Despite my extremely poor dancing abilities, I felt incredible energy, support, happiness and unity. The dust flies up from beneath the feet, the pounding rhythm fills your body, and you feel the freedom to move wildly, with energy, fully supported by the others.
I want my children to have the experience of walking down a street, finding people dancing, and being allowed to join the experience. It’s going onto my wish list for them.