My Daughter Dances to Alicia Keys’s ‘Superwoman’

Every Tuesday in the makeshift dance studio
on an upper floor of a local church, whether
she wants to or not, and mostly (I suspect,
I know) she does not. Every Tuesday, she
summons enough coordination to follow
along — more or less — as I hear,
through the door, Alicia Keys’s voice
reaching some level of transcendence,
a fever pitch of effort or emotion.
I’ve never heard the song, fully.
I catch a word or two here and there,
just as I catch a glimpse or two
here and there of my daughter as she
approximates, roughly, the steps of
the choreographed dance, the movements
of the other dancers. I hope that
someday, she will remember this as
an important algebra that she needed
to work out between her quick brain
and a body that is often recalcitrant.
Whatever the song is about, I hope she
will take from it something she needs,
even if she can’t fully understand it
now — the lyrics, and why it is that
I keep bringing her here to Jazz I/II.


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