Dancing My Rootlessness Away

Twirling and Spinning Alongside Octogenarians Made Me Question My Peripatetic Lifestyle. Then I Realized I’ve Created My Own Kind of Permanence.

Couples whirled across the floor as the band played music reminiscent of the Rat Pack days. The lights were dim, and strings of small white lights stretched like the spokes of a wheel to corners of the round room. At 51, I was the youngest person there—but I wasn’t dancing.

I was at a St. Patrick Day’s dance sponsored by the Britannia Club of Los Angeles. I was there with my 70-something aunt, who’s a member (though she is no Brit). Dorothy has multiple sclerosis and uses a walker, so …