In the first stage of the greeting dance, while remaining six feet, or two meters, away from whomever you are greeting, you make eye contact, smile, raise your open hands to face level, or higher, and say “yes, yes.”

In this way, the greeter lets the greetee know he or she is being greeted, that the intention is friendly and anticipates a similar greeting in return. While you are performing this first part, the one you are greeting may return the favor by doing the same.

In the second stage of the greeting dance, you make a 360-degree full turn with your hands still raised and with your hands still open. No fists and no special fingers. Graceful hand motions are allowed and encouraged. Turn clockwise or counter clockwise, whichever you prefer. It’s your greeting and your dance; just turn the way you are most comfortable.

In this way, the greeter visibly demonstrates that he carries no weapons or other harmful items, while at the same time giving the greetee a chance to get a good look at what sort of a physical specimen offers the greeting. While you are performing this second part, the one you are greeting may return the favor by making the turnaround, too.

In the third stage, having finished the full turn, you drop your arms to your side, smile, nod your head gently once or twice and say, “good, good,”, or “nice, nice,” depending on your own personality.

In this way, you signal the completion of the greeting dance, ending by saying something nice, and giving a respectful nod of recognition.

And that’s the Greeting Dance in the Time of Pestilence.

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

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