The Tears of Terpsichore

I do not delight in dance. Forced to dance, I am clumsy; forced to watch dance, I am bored; so although David danced before the ark and Socrates would have danced naked before Menexenus, I leave the terpsichorean rites alone. But if one who leaves these rites alone may venture an opinion, I believe dancing should remain a rite. My employer disagrees. I just this morning saw that students at this university can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in “Dance Science.”

Terpsichore was one of nine sisters born of the union of Zeus and Mnemosyne, a Titanide who personified the wisdom of memory. These nine sisters we call the Muses, from which we have the word music, and the Muses were long thought to be the semi-divine sources of artistic inspiration. The name Terpsichore literally means delight in dancing, and it is, perhaps, because I do not feel this delight that I know one cannot really dance without it. Dancing is not always joyous, but true dancing is always ecstatic.

Ecstasy cannot be caught in the net of science.  Terpsichore should not hounded by anatomists.  I hear weeping on the slopes of Mount Helicon as the tears of the hunted muse mix with the waters of the blessed Hippocrene.

7 thoughts on “The Tears of Terpsichore

  1. Pingback: The Tears of Terpsichore | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: The Tears of Terpsichore | Reaction Times

  3. When we were first dating, my wife accused me of “dancing ironically.” I had no notion what it meant then and to this day I have no notion what it means.

  4. Whatever the medium, irony is saying what is not said by way of incongruity. So I expect your wife was saying that what appeared on the surface to be a sort of dancing, was in its heart a resolute sort of not dancing.


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