Here’s David Bowie’s, “Let’s Dance,” to get you in the mood for my post today.
* I don’t know if I danced when I was a toddler, but I do know that I was always in motion. Oh, man, the family stories I’ve heard about me rocking my crib against the door, and later, wearing out a rocking chair every year!
* Somewhere, I have a photo of my 17-year-old self dancing at my wedding with my dad. I was a little tipsy on champagne, wearing a floppy wide-rimmed hat, a long white dress and tennis shoes. Always stylish.
* A few years later, I was living alone in Oklahoma City and I was a disco queen! (Stop laughing!) My dance partners wore those icky shiny shirts, unbuttoned half-way down, with thick gold chains around their necks. Think John Travolta. I wore flimsy little dresses that swirled when I moved and I usually kicked off my shoes by the third dance. I won dance contest money, dinners, drinks and various other awards for my fancy footwork. What a claim to fame, huh?
* I also danced in the western clubs in Ok City, Dallas and Ft Worth, Texas. I have an old photo of my 21-year-old self decked out in a white cowboy hat, a white silk shirt, western-cut polyester pants and knee-hi cowboy boots with heart-shaped cut-outs at the top. Yee Haw! I had sun bleached hair and a deep tan from spending my days at my apartment pool. I wore my pants so tight, my girlfriend finally taught me a girl secret: how to lay down and use the hook of coat hanger to zip them up.
* Aside from my disco and western dance days, when male partners were assured, I’ve probably spent more time on the dance floor with girlfriends then men. Men often let their egos get in the way of having a good time dancing, while we women seem to shuck our egos and shake our bodies, no matter how silly we may look. Quit laughing!
* Fast forward, past years of infrequent dance opportunities. One of my favorite dance memories is from a normal domestic night at home, when my late husband unexpectedly grabbed me and slow danced me through the kitchen. It plays like a movie in my mind when I think of it.
* I pity the adult who hasn’t had the pure joy of seeing a toddler shaking their booty? You laugh and clap your hands to the music, and it is almost impossible not to get up and dance around with them. The best age is just after they learn to walk, and while their little egos are still sound asleep. After that age, you have to hold your breath and pretend to not look at them, or they will stop right in their tracks. I hold special memories, of my own children and my little grands happily dancing around, very close to my heart.
* My mom has a radio in her greenhouse and she often dances around while gardening. What a wonderful sight.
* My family has settled on a beautiful memory of the last day of my sister’s life. Mom dropped Michaela off at her condo, when a song they loved came on the radio, mom cranked it up and rolled down her window and Michaela danced all the way to her door. A family friend gave us a metal cut-out of a dancing girl for mom’s garden: everyone knew how much Michaela loved music and dancing. I painted the bouquet of flowers that the dancing girl held. I polished her finger and toe nails, gave her bright red lips and made some jewelry bling for her, then I wrote my sister’s name and a sentence about dancing on the dancing girl’s dress. This art therapy an element of my grieving.
* When mom and I went to Hawaii two years ago, we had an especially fun time dancing while on Maui. We were strolling through a little tourist town one night and heard music blaring from a second story, open air bar. The bar and the town were very festive, with little white lights strung everywhere. We climbed the stairs, ordered a drink and listened to the band play for awhile. Looking over the rail, I saw a little empty park below the balcony. Yep, we left the bar and danced in the park to the music playing in the bar. I’m so lucky to have such a fun mom.
* I used to hang out at my friend’s Deli and Pub in my little fishing/tourist town, especially on band nights. As a rule, fishermen don’t dance, so I spent many nights dancing with other women or couples. Most music nights, I would just go out by the fire pit and sway to the music. I love to dance!
* One night in Alaska last month, I went dancing with two of Michaela’s best friends. The sister closest to my age was there too. They all sang karaoke, but all I wanted to do was dance! And I did.
I hope my dance memories made you smile, and maybe even reminded you of some of your own dance memories. I’ll leave you with this bittersweet song that I love, by Luther Vandross, “Dance With My Father.”
Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here: