I recently saw PINK in concert and was blown away with her musicianship, her energy, her voice, and her dancing! Most specifically her song, “I’m Never Gonna Not Dance Again.” Anytime a lyricist can pull off a double negative and not cause the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end, I applaud them. As I watched her dance, sing, and perform aerial feats I marveled at the stamina the forty-four-year-old maintained for two hours, never missing a beat, never missing a note.
But back to dancing. I have always loved to dance. When I was a preschooler, my mother enrolled me and my two older sisters in “tap” class. I remember the panic that set in when, with my first enthusiastic kick, my shiny tap shoe flew across the room, just missing another first-timer’s head. You see, I didn’t know how to tie my shoes yet and my guess is I was too excited to get tapping to ask for help. I don’t remember any more about that or, for that matter, any possible subsequent classes.
I clearly remember my sixth-grade cotillion. (Just typing the word “cotillion” creates images of a snooty childhood, but nothing could be further from the truth.) Dance classes were offered to boys and girls in the gym. I’m sure the cost was nominal because my family really didn’t have extra money, but every Saturday afternoon for four weeks, an instructor taught us the basics of the box step, the cha cha, and the fox trot. Parents were invited to the last class, and I couldn’t have been prouder. You see, my dad loved to dance! He twirled me around the floor with such ease it erased all the problematic moments from the preceding weeks coupled with partners who stared at the floor, counting out loud, “one, two, three, one two, three.”
Until tenth grade I attended a small suburban school that actually had “sock hops” (again in the gym) after football games. By then everyone did the “Twist” to their hearts content with no need for awkward invitations to leave the safety of the bleachers. Everyone danced with everyone!
Attending college and majoring in music offered another dance-like opportunity. “Eurythmics” was a two-year course taught by Brunhilda Dorff (Annie Lennox’s group had yet to burst on the scene.) A small ensemble was selected to perform at the School for the Deaf. What a wonderful memory of dancing at their assembly and having the students place their hands on the stage to feel the vibrations and connect with our dance movements.
About ten years ago, Kay and I vacationed in Washington DC with Kassandra and Andrew, my niece Amy’s two pre-teens. It was a fabulous way to experience the city over the Fourth of July weekend. To wrap up our stay, the plan was to attend the concert on the mall and watch the fireworks. Then we got word that more than a million people were expected, and the Metro would be closed down and the streets blocked off. Much to the kids’ disappointment we checked out of the hotel and headed for home in Pittsburgh. As luck would have it, we arrived at my brother’s house just in time to watch the concert on the mall on TV and “Ooh” and “Aah” at the fireworks from the backporch. The best part was winding up the vacation by dancing together in the living room. No tap shoes required, and no fancy cotillion steps necessary. Just movement and laughter.
My dancing occurs mainly in the kitchen now while I’m baking holiday treats or preparing dinner, but, whenever PINK sings, “I’m Never Gonna Not Dance Again,” I’m not only going to sing along with her, I’m gonna dance, too.