Dance IN The Band

Curtis Friesen
4 min readJan 4, 2021


“Some people dance and some people play in the band”

This is a saying that I was brought up with. It comes from my grandfather, and I never asked where he got it from. The important thing is what it signifies. The saying dates back to a time when the wealthy people danced. The being in the band signified the not having. The separation of class. I believe the implication is that we were not enough. Not enough to dream. Not enough to be invited and not enough to matter. In todays culture, that isn’t always true. Sure the band still gets hired out for swank parties and so on. Yet we were raised in an era of mega-super-stardom. Being in the band is a pretty good deal. Yet the saying above still has an energy. A dream killer energy. Each of us was raised with a saying. A phrase. A place dreams went to die. I am curious, what is the phrase that rings in your ears when your dreams start to flourish. This one simple phrase encapsulates so much energy. When I say it, I can feel all the things. Loneliness, unworthiness, and poverty.

Photo by Forest Simon on Unsplash

Language is so important. Especially on the path of transformation. The words we choose and the pictures we create. From these two things, our entire world is born. What we create. The events that happen around us. Even the people we do and do not meet. These two simple things. The words that we use. Combined with the pictures that we create. So take a second and think about the phrase that you were given. The place your dreams go to die.

I am inviting you to play a game with me. Right now, in real time. I am playing as a write this. I have no idea how it is going to turn out. So let’s get curious together. I am going to rewrite the story of “some people dance and some people play in the band”. Well I am doing that, follow along with the process. See where the concepts that I am using to breathe new life into old language apply. Maybe you can also create something new. So let’s get this party started. Without even knowing why, I titled this article “Dance IN The Band”. Impulse. Not logic. I knew I was going to write about my grandfathers saying. I knew all day. It was lodged in the back of my mind. Now I am sitting down and it is pouring out. As I am sitting and writing, I am reminded of an LSD trip. It was a few years back. I was heading into a yoga class before going to meet some friends for a show. For the record, it was a pretty amazing night.

So here’s what happened. Or at least, the relevant smidge. I took the acid about 40 min before the class started. I arrived early, got settled and started meditating. Waiting for the class to start, and the acid to kick in. The teacher had a cheap boom box playing yoga inspired tunes. As I started to ride the wave, the sound became all encompassing. It felt like I meditating at a live concert. The experience was so phenomenal that I decided to sit and meditate. Through the entire class. I didn’t budge an inch. Or so I thought. The music became the entire class. It felt like I was inside the speakers. Inside the music. My soul and the music became a blend of infinite possibility. It was one of the most beautiful, seated meditations. When the class ended, I rolled up the mat. Only to discover it was soaking wet.

Photo by Lutchenca Medeiros on Unsplash

To this day, I cannot remember what happened in that class. I had two separate experiences. It was like my spirit sat on the mat and experienced oneness with all things. In the meanwhile, my body was freed. I did not consciously do one single posture. Yet I am certain that my body participated in the class. During that time, I had an experience in my soul. One that is still with me as I write this out. After the class I joined my friends at the show. The music was popping out at me. Literally. I closed my eyes and danced. As I did, the music came alive. The sound pouring off of the stage came in waves. It had colours and textures. It called out to me to play, laugh, live and love.

So why am I telling you this??? Because while I was riding the wave. There was no separation. No one playing in the band. No one dancing. There was only the music. The music was everything. It did not care if there was dancing or playing. The music covered all. We create so much separation. When life is calling out to us t play, laugh, live and love. So the next time I think of that phrase, I am wiring it to this experience. And I am modifying the phrase. Just a little. Here is my edit to the phrase. “ Some people dance, some people play in the band, and the music loves us all.” Just one little addition changes the game completely. So what’s your story, the phrase where dreams used to go to die? What is the one simple twist that you can add? Make that phrase your goddamn own. We’ve allowed this generational trauma to own our lives long enough. Drop it in the comments below. What’s your phrase? Where do your dreams go to come alive? Mine is “Some people dance, some people play in the band, the music loves us all.”