My peaceCENTER colleague Rosalyn Collier roped me into dinner and a movie, the movie being “Strictly Ballroom,” a 1993 Australian film about ballroom dancing. “Not at all my cup of tea,” I complained. “You love it. Trust me,” she countered. She was right.
Scott, a young competitive ballroom dancer, is inspired to improvise in a rumba competition. His elders are incensed: “There are no new steps,” grimly admonishes the head of the dance federation. His teachers lament that if everyone could make up steps they wouldn’t need teachers and where would that leave them? The theme? A life lived in fear is a life half-lived. The film is funny, beautiful, sad, uplifting and thought-provoking.
Strictly Ballroom would be an eccentric yet appropriate film to show along with lesson 7 of the Class of Nonviolence, where we discuss civil disobedience. Although the disobedience isn’t exactly of the civil variety, the message is the same: conscience has precedence over the rules.