My earliest memories of dancing were of kids dancing at weddings…you know, that random swirling thing that little ones do out in the middle of the dance floor, with adults side-stepping them. I usually wasn’t one of those kids. I didn’t want to look silly or draw too much attention to myself. Nooooo….this girl was the one who, at 2, didn’t want her frilly little panties to show. Um, the panties were supposed to show, but that was beside the point…no panty action here, and no standing out in a crowd.
So I’d stand by the side of the dance floor, trying hard to look grown up…wishing that I had the balls to get out there and boogie. As the reception wore on and the adults started getting more, shall we say, boisterous with their ‘moves’, I would just slide into a state of full blown depression. (I was a very angst filled 10 year old.)
Somewhere along the way, Mama taught me and my sister to ‘living room dance’. Mama’s moves were damn good…she had rhythm and did a renegade version of the jitterbug that involved lots of twirling and arm crossing. It surprised me that I picked it up so quickly…I actually looked like I knew what I was doing! I still didn’t have enough self confidence to do it in front of anyone though, so it got filed away in my ‘Wish I Could’s’ – a long list which included: asking strangers for directions, meeting an Osmond brother, and being a movie star without ever having to get on stage.
In my teens I wasn’t popular enough to go to many dances, so I didn’t have to worry about being a spectacle. I just kept my angst at home and fed it ice cream and John Steinbeck. Then along came the late 70’s…I was ‘of age’ and, by God, I taught that angst to drink! By then it was the disco era, and I dated a guy who could really dance. I knew that all eyes were on him. He led, and I practiced my beer-fueled moves to the sounds of Donna Summers. I was in front of people, but no one was really looking at me….perfect! After that, my dancing became pretty consistent…mostly the living room dance, with a bit of normal ‘white girl dancing’ thrown in. I didn’t want to really stand out, but it felt good to be pretty decent at it.
I’m not sure exactly when, but over the past few years something… changed…it’s almost like the ghost of an old stripper hijacked me and kicked that damn angst to the curb! I get up, walk to the floor and plan to do the normal step-slide-step deal, but my lower half has a mind of its own…and it’s a hoochie mama mind! Next thing you know, I’m spinning around without giving a crap what anyone thinks, my bootie grinding or swaying or whatever the hell it wants to. Somewhere along the way I learned to let GO. Now, I don’t claim that this is particularly pretty, but it definitely gets attention. If people think it looks silly…oh well. Let’s just say that, at least on this end, it feels kinda like my soul is asking Donnie Osmond for directions, with a pint of Haagen Dazs in my hand…in frilly panties.