Under the watchful eyes of Ghandi, Mandela and King, arms waved and feet stomped. The men of peace might have never seen such a scene as between walls with words of freedom and choice, between bits of bites of cookies and sips of wine, people danced.
I could only imagine how we looked from outside, to a stranger looking through the window on that Thursday night. The man on the street might have judged harshly. The haircuts and clothes, the stiffness and moves. Oh, the moves...
People looked drunk. (They weren't.) They looked silly. (They were.) And old. (Meh.) But it did not matter. In the morning, the dancers would return to their lives of educating children for too little thanks and even less money. My friend would go back to her social work masters and counseling inner city youth, and I would go back to federal finance in the face of a fiscal cliff.
For one night - this night - everyone danced and I was lucky enough to join them in their night of "staff appreciation," to buy drinks for others, to appreciate my friend and her friends.
Educators, especially those working with teens, seemed to have swallowed magic beans, to wear enchanted shoes and give up caring long before they danced into the night. Children were lucky to have them as role models and I was lucky to call them friends.
A story, a picture, a glimpse couldn't give justice. A waiter climbed to the banquette and I laughed with sheer pleasure and wonder. Cameras flashed. Feet flew. Restraint was abandoned and in that, joy found.