Monday, June 22, 2009

Dancing Gene

I didn't dance as a kid. No ballet, tap or jazz. Never had an interest and I was never asked if I wanted to. So my first exposure to dance was in grade 7, junior high school, and I had school dances to contend with. I guess I must have watched enough Brady Bunch to generally know that we weren't talking about ballroom dancing, but I didn't really know how to dance.

With great trepedation I went to my first dance only to find there wasn't much dancing going on. The girls loudly and nervously giggled when any boy looked their way. The boys hovered together in packs and tried to look as cool as possible. A few kids danced, usually those 'going around together', the parlance for 1970's grade 7 coupling. But I did get to see what the dancing looked like.

So I practiced dancing in my basement. I walked 2 steps forward, 2 steps back, swung my arms like an Olympic long distance walker, and I had, I thought, some reasonable moves. I knew I was not the hippest and coolest dancer, but was goal was not to be completely embarassed.

One Monday morning after a dance when some actual dancing occurred, I had cut a rug as best I could. A friend pointed out that I really only had one move and mocked/demonstrated for those gathered at recess my one, well-honed move. I was mortified.

I don't think my dancing has improved much over the years. I had one boyfriend who was an accomplished ballroom dancer and he did his level best to teach me the jive, the foxtrot and the waltz but I am sadly lacking in rhythm and it didn't take.

For a time, I did attend some square dances and found when they call out instructions on what dance move to do, I was no longer handicapped and can do-si-do and promenade with the best of them. Too bad square dancing is a little out of vogue in my circles.

When I was dating Husband and met one of his close friends, who would be his best man, he asked me if I had seen Husband dance? He thought I should know what I might be getting myself into if we chose to elevate our relationship from boyfriend/girlfriend to husband/wife. Husband dances better than I do, no doubt, but does have the same general deficit.

It wasn't even a question of whether we'd have dance at our wedding. Neither of us enjoy dancing enough to pay for a dance, never mind the horrid embarassment of dancing the first dance together for a room full of spectators with nothing better to do than take pictures of us.

Naturally, we expected our kids to follow in our impaired dance steps. J has pretty much fallen in with Husband and I. Though he did show a little promise at a Saturday morning hip hop class he took last fall, he generally does a bit of a robot walk and some jerky arm movements that probably resembles having a seizure more than dancing.

However, S has shown a remarkable dancing aptitude when the music is fast. Even as a 2 year old with the right tempo we'd see the "S dance" where she would basically do the twist, very very fast. Now, she has developed a reasonable break dance routine to one particular song. She has some Britney moves including a butt wiggle that is both adorable and scarily grown-up. Even J will stop what he is doing to watch her dance and will even request that she does certain moves. Whenever J is doing one of his SHOWS!!, she will wait her turn and then dance for us.

She indeed has the dancing gene (I call this Mata Hari meets Flashdance):

(this may be in the relative sense, rather than on the absolute scale - i.e. she has the rest of us beat!)

1 comment:

Ellie said...

"Mata Hari meets Flashdance!!!" I love it!! I totally saw that move where she sits on the chair, pulls the chain and the water falls on her. You better hope S never sees that movie or you'll be in for a wet carpet...

And you're right - the girl has moves!