General Assembly 2022 / La Familia

We Just Wanted to Dance

By Xiomara Reboyras-Ortiz

My heart was filled with gladness.  My mind was filled with all I had experienced and learned during three days at CBF General Assembly.  My emotions…my emotions were in an indescribable stage of delight.  I was ready to wrap up my week and return home to share with my loved ones and my church family all the blessings I had experienced.   

I wanted to enjoy all to the last minute and be able to say goodbye to the uncountable new friends, so I headed to the gathering place. The voices of hundreds of people, the enchanting sound of laughter, and a beautiful display of faces of all colors and ages embracing one another in warm hugs; had salsa music as the perfect background.  

I walked with my dance/Latino spirit ready for the challenge and experience. Little did I know that God was not done with me just yet.  In his mercy, He had another blessing, another teaching, another gift in store for me.  As I approached the dance floor, I saw many familiar faces and other new, expectant, and surprised faces.  We were all ready to move and enjoy the music.   

Xiomara Reboyras-Ortiz

The dance instructor shouted, “welcome to salsa night where you will learn some basic moves of Salsa and Bachata; enough to look like you can dance”.  He continued “Find your spouse and if you are not married, find a dance partner”.  I looked around and saw people pairing with their spouses, children, friends, and some of us looked for someone else without a partner. My eyes met with the happy eyes of a young face.  We smiled at each other and with a quick movement of heads we agreed to jump right in and partner in the adventure of dancing together.  The energetic instructor shouted; “men on the right, women on the left; men will lead, women will follow”.  We looked at each other and smiled two very different smiles.  Mine was a nervous and confused one; my partner’s smile was determined and brave.  A voice, louder than the instructor’s asked; “what about non-binary, which side do we take? At that moment, I saw in the instructor the same confused smile I just had experienced seconds before.  His answer was “just take the side that will make it easier for you to dance and enjoy”.  While handling my need to “clarify” the situation, I was “awakened” by the voice of a lady next to us that said to my partner “well, we will be non-binary together tonight because I am dancing with my sister; let’s teach them how it is done” and then, she winked at us.  I felt my partner’s hand squishing mine and with the sweetest voice said, “I just want to dance”.  In that second, all the voices around us were silenced, no instructor, no music, no laughter.  I was only able to hear my heart, pounding hard in my chest.  I smiled back at my partner and saw my children in the eyes in front of mine. The sound of music started to break the silence of my very loud thoughts while I prayed “God, allow my children to always find a hand to hold, a smile back and someone willing to find the right rhythm with them”.  Still looking at my partner’s sweet eyes I replied, “me too; I just want to dance”.   

One, two, three; one, two three… we found our rhythm together, we had fun, we were doing much better than expected, I learned much more than salsa moves, I wonder if this is what perichoresis is all about… it was a great dance and to think that we just wanted to dance.

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