|May 28, 1994|
It's prom season around here. My friends who are more "normal" than I am on the timeline of life have been posting their kids' prom pictures: the hunt for just the right dress, the shy smiles and fumbling with corsages, the beauty-pageant line-ups of pastels, brights, black, and sparkles, the guys with all their variations on tuxes, from ultra-cool casual to sweetly stiff and formal. My favorite shots are the laughing shots--the ones where somebody kicks up a gown to reveal Toms or sneakers, the bunny-ears, the tongues sticking out. Those are the kids, who, I suspect, have caught the idea that this is a DANCE, a celebration.
Although I survived the junior-high rite of passage in my hometown, Phil Jones Dancing School, along with the rest of the 7th and 8th graders, to be ready for those formal high school dances, maybe a cotillion or two, and The Prom, I never actually went to anything other than the totally informal, flail-and-jump-around-in-jeans affairs in the school gym or the church youth room. I was, for some reason, not a girl to be asked to the bigger dances. Maybe the fact that I was 5'10" by seventh grade had something to do with it. Or maybe it was my less-than-perfect figure, my acne, my general awkwardness... whatever.
Or maybe it was just one more gift of being a late-bloomer.
Instead, my "prom", my celebration, if you will, began well after those years, in my 20's, when I found myself free to discover how much fun it was to "dance like nobody's watching." Most of the time, I was right. Nobody was watching.
|Much to my kids' amusement now, I guess somebody, somebody with a camera , was watching from time to time. This was an evidently hilarious two-step with a good-natured friend at the Broken Spoke in Austin, TX|
|Can't you just feel the sparks between these two ?|
|"Start on your right foot..."|
I danced my way through my 20's and at the end of that decade I married a brilliant, cute guy I met in a country-western dance bar, a mathematician/physicist/astronomer whose pick-up line was "Can you dance?" (Notice that it was not "will you dance?" My now-husband, Andre, was giving me an instant peek into his precision-oriented personality.) Our first dance as husband and wife, not quite a year later, was a fast two-step with all kinds of twirls and fancy footwork: a fitting start to our adventure as husband and wife, an adventure that marks its 18th year next Monday.
Have you ever noticed that when you put on music and move (running with your iPod, cleaning the kitchen with the radio on, or those hilarious Zumba classes), you just don't get tired until you're completely, utterly spent? And even then, you can somehow keep moving, right? As I train for my 13.1 mile run across the city of San Francisco this July, I'm compiling my playlists for the iPod, and it's a strange mix: U2, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and The Chieftains, Twang-Twang-Shocka-Boom and Beyonce, Paul Simon, the choir of ChristChurch Nashville, Black-Eyed Peas and a rock version of "Scotland the Brave". Oh, and there's 2 versions of the Cotton-Eyed Joe, a jig titled "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", along with Gloria Estefan's "Conga". Perhaps I should warn anybody who might come to watch me run the race this summer, if you happen to catch me when Asleep at the Wheel starts up "Boogie Back to Texas", you just might find yourself pulled into the 98-step combination that makes up the Sweetheart Schottische.
"Don't worry about what you don't know. Life's a dance you learn as you go."
Don't stop until you're completely, utterly spent...