I had a rough weekend, grieving the loss of yet another beloved cat. My life was enriched by his. My life feels emptier now that he's gone. I've lost three cats in the last six months - first Kellen aka "Kellenator" to breast cancer. Yes, even kitties can get that disease. Next was Boomerang aka "Baby Boomer". He lived seven years longer than the vet thought he would, but the inevitability of kidney failure came calling. On Saturday, yesterday, it was Valentino aka "Teeno Beeno". He had no use for me for thirteen years, until he needed me to coax him to eat during his last few weeks. He finally accepted all the petting and butt rubs I had been waiting to give him. Even as he lay on the bed, depleted of energy from the tumor that had invaded his kidney, he touched me with his paw. So as I sit here writing this with tears in my eyes and a sense of loss at the forefront of my mind, you may be wondering what Valentino's life and death has to do with dancing? Everything. I DJ'd a dance party last night, just a few hours after Valentino was gone. Most people there had no idea how heart broken I was - I didn't say anything. But, in the midst of my sorrow, there was the community in their costumes giving me comfort without them even realizing it; making me smile from ear to ear; reminding me that it's healthier to celebrate life than to dwell on death. There are people in the community who "pooh pooh" dance parties. Have no use for them. Think they are are stupid. I get it. Not your cup of tea. I am not writing to convince you differently. I am writing to say that whatever negative view some have of dance parties in SOTA there is another side to them that doesn't get talked about: dance parties help build community and relationships with others. And they help people like me cope with grief in healthier ways. They can add joy on a day that goes to sh!t in the space of seconds. They can provide the solace of being with others even if those others haven't got a clue that you need solace. I miss Valentino. But just as he accepted me with his little paw, so has this community accepted me with their kindness and virtual touch. So I'll continue privately musing about life and death as I grieve. But thanks to this community, I'll keep dancing too. Because it is better to dance while you can, support others when you have the chance and love before it's too late.