The Gangle is a dance, for the utterly uncoordinated, that I learned from camp and have taught most of the semester. It consists of vigorously moving your legs back and forth, knees bent, head bobbing, and just letting your arms flow. I bet that you have never seen anything like it before; it is quite the experience to the eye. As stated, I have spread the Gangle to the semester, but a few faculty members at my lunch table today had only heard about it and wanted to see it. We decided that it would not be appropriate to unleash the Gangle in the middle of lunch, so I waited until after announcements.
I was skeptical of Gangling in front of a dining hall full of adults, some of them strangers visiting from Bath, but with the encouragement of the students and faculty at my table, I was easily convinced. My stage was an area in between two tables that had enough space where I wouldn’t bump into things with my flailing limbs. I nervously stood up from my chair and tentatively tiptoed to the stage, trying not to draw attention too much to myself. Feeling constricted by my tight corduroys, the Gangle could not reach its full potential. Forgetting about my pants, I let loose and began to flap my body. Not even five seconds into gangling, the seam of my pants exploded with a bang and everyone looked around, wondering where such a noise had come from. I was confused about what had happened until I felt a small breeze on my leg. I just began to laugh, not that nervous, embarrassed laugh that would result from a second grader ripping her pants in the cafeteria, but a real, natural laugh like I get when I watch Zoolander. I expected the teachers to be dumbfounded with that awkward feeling of uncertainty, but all four of them erupted with the same laughter that I did. It was surprisingly comforting. I shuffled back to my seat, crumbling with giggles.
Anywhere else, I would have collapsed with embarrassment and probably ran to the bathroom to cry because people would point at me, snickering, but at Chewonki no one was laughing at me, but laughing with me. It was almost to the stage of R.O.F.L. (rolling on the floor laughing), but we kept our cool. This outrageous event made me realize that at Chewonki, I could completely make a fool of myself and feel vulnerable, yet I was supported by the friendly, comforting, companionship of my peers and even teachers, all while laughing.
Chestnut Hill, MA