Why I Can't Dance

When I was  around 3 years old, my mother enrolled me in a tap dance class. I had teeny-tiny tap shoes, a leotard, tights, and a tutu.

I remember being very excited about those tap shoes. They made such a delightful noise on the kitchen floor, and they were shiny patent leather.

dancing, tap dancing, bad dancer, empty nest

Unfortunately, I was a terrible dancer.

"Brush, brush, stamp! Brush, brush, stamp!" That was all I had to learn to do. Front, back, down. Brush, brush stamp. I couldn't do it. This is still a joke in my family - "brush brush, stamp." Very funny.

Later, when I was in college, everyone was going to aerobics classes, so I did too. Again, there were tights and a leotard -and now there were leg warmers.  We all wanted to look like Jane Fonda.

dancing, aerobics, jane fonda, empty nest

Of course, I couldn't do it. Couldn't follow the directions, couldn't stay in rhythm, couldn't turn and touch and stretch along with the others. I struggled. How I envied the other women who could follow the beat and do the movements while keeping time to the beat and just be so...coordinated.

Many years later, we entered the Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit, and spent many Saturday evenings at these celebrations. Much to my dismay, I once again had to face the fact that I can not dance. Just can not. There was always line dancing.  The dj would call out directions, and somehow everyone else could do it so easily - the front to back, slide to the left, jump in the air, blah blah blah. From the little kids to grandma and grandpa, they all followed along, having a great time.  Not me. Though I tried. I really did.

dancing, bat mitzvah, line dancing, empty nest
courtesy 911dj.com

Then there's my husband, who likes to swing dance. He's pretty good at it, and all I do is slow him down. He usually can convince me to get through one song, but then he goes and finds other women to dance with who are way, way better than I am. I don't mind.

When my daughter was in high school, she was in show choir, and one of the things the kids in show choir had to do was dance. I was terrified that she would be like me - but thankfully she isn't. Though she's no J-Lo and was never front and center like the best dancers in the group, she kept up just fine. Talk about a proud mother - I was, to be honest, very relieved.

At a wedding a few weeks ago, I was once again faced with my woefully sad dancing abilities, when it  hit me - maybe it's because I'm left-handed! Maybe everything is wired backwards for me! All of those aerobics classes, the line dancing...it's just too confusing when you look at the world through left-handed eyes. Maybe I'm on to something!

The only problem with that - it doesn't explain the "brush, brush, stamp" issue.

Sharon Greenthal emptyhousefullmind.com

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