You cannot just write, you have to dance!

My name is Francine Dupras.

I am a writer. When I was 60 years old, someone that I will never forget told me: “You cannot just write, you have to dance!” And here is why. Let’s start at the beginning. My parents are persons of faith. They even told me that faith was the strongest tie between them. Both had very much enjoyed dancing together and they were dancing pretty well too. When I was in the primary school, they registered me to lessons of both ballet and tap-dancing. At that age, I thought my "physical appearance" was NOT one of a ballet dancer. I was not especially attracted to become a tapper either. So, after a year or so, I chose to follow lessons of folk dance, which, again, did not satisfy my thirst of dancing. What I would have chiefly liked, frankly, was “on television”: playing into these American movies in which the storytelling was transformed into movements of dance. Suddenly the ordinary life was becoming a joyful choreography, playing with spaces: jumping on the divans, turning around lampposts, spinning and singing in the rain. What an enjoyment! What a freedom! Around 16 years old, I joined the studio of a dance company, which made choreographies for broadcasted shows, but the “mood” did not suit me. In fact, I now realize that if I am enjoying dancing in itself, the message, the sense (direction) expressed by the choreography is fundamental for me. It was my hidden quest all along, unknown even by myself, and it still is. When I reached 19 years old, something very important happened to me. I decided to dedicate all my life to evangelization. It has been over 40 years now. At first, I thought that this would imply to quit dancing, but it never happened. On the contrary, the quest of my dancing had just found in this new life the way to express itself, and so, more and more. Faith became my wells of inspirations, images, stories, emotions, to meditate and to dance. As a teenager, I had imagined choreographies in three movements, like a concerto of classical music. Through my faith my way of dancing came to express three realities of evangelization: Fight, Hope and Complete Joy. How Joy can be complete? I strongly believe that through the promises of the Gospel, we can experience in every moment, good or difficult, a sense of complete Victory and Happiness. The Glory of God is already living within us. To move or dance on the music in that “spirit” is a way to reach the Kingdom inside of me and to let it emerge, to live it, and eventually to share with others the hope and happiness that it arouses in me, every time an opportunity presents itself. But, year after year, I am getting older: 40, 50, 60, … Will I get too old to dance, even to move some day? I already said that when I was 60 years old, someone told me: “You cannot just write, you have to dance!” At that very moment of my life, I was just beginning to think that dancing was a thing of the past for me. Few months later I met Ana Bolt-Turral. But this is another part of my story… Francine Here are a picture of me and a hymn that express my experience:   I danced in the morning (Hymn)      I danced in the morning when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth, at Bethlehem I had my birth. Refrain:    Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he, and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, and I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he. I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee, but they would not dance and they wouldn't follow me. I danced for the fishermen, for James and John - they came with me and the dance went on. I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame; the holy people said it was a shame. They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high, and they left me there on a Cross to die. I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black; it's hard to dance with the devil on your back. They buried my body and they thought I'd gone, but I am the Dance, and I still go on. They cut me down and I leapt up high; I am the life that'll never, never die; I'll live in you if you'll live in me - I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

Valérie Dionne