Hundreds of us, jammed into the hallway outside the hotel ballroom, waiting for the doors to open and the ritual to begin.

The power in the air was palpable.

Like atoms which, when compressed, generate heat, so too with bodies. You could taste the energy mounting, mounting, as more and more people pressed in.

Finally, the double doors swung open. With a cheer, we stampeded into the room.

Then the ritualist killed it.

Here's what we're going to do tonight....

At that moment, the window of opportunity slammed shut. What followed was pallid, boring, the “dancing” never progressing beyond the dreaded “pagan shuffle.”

Here's what should have happened.

When the horns blew (but there were no horns that night) and the doors were thrown open, the drums should already have been going at full tilt.

Then we'd have thrown ourselves into the dancing with wild abandon.

We could have blown the roof off that ballroom. But no.

Instead, we waited through an introductory speech that droned on and on, telling us what we were going to do, instead of just letting us do it.

By the time the circle had been cast, the quarters called, and the god invoked, all the power that we'd raised out there in the hall had been lost forever, never to be recovered, gone.

Gone with the window.