|An RKO publicity still of Astaire and Rogers dancing to "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in Roberta (1935) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
It was a family thing when I was growing up. On the weekends my grandparents would go to local senior citizens dances and when I was lucky I got to tag along. When you a girl at one of these events you end up being the belle of the ball. My dance card was always full as gentleman after gentleman spun me around the floor. I learned so much from these dances. Not just about dancing, but about life. As we danced across the floor I got to know these men, their wives, families. Not only was I dancing, but I was hearing stories of a time gone by, one I was sure I should have been born in. When I got older my grandmother sent me to cotillion, something I absolutely hated, to learn dance for social occasions. Cotillion itself was my idea of hell on Earth, but it made me even better with the old men who at the time all seemed like Fred Astaire. Suddenly my skills went from the waltz and two step to the foxtrot, samba, and jitterbug. Nanny assured me I would need these skills, but so far that day hasn't come. I do have a lot of fond memories thanks to those dances though.
I have tried to teach some of these dances to my own children, but it causes giggles and eyerolls. The boy couldn't be less interested. He does a dance called the Bernie. I think it's named this because of that Weekend At Bernie's movie because he goes all limp and kind of looks like a dead body that's being jerked up. I don't get it. The girl is more of a line dancer. Se can Cupid Shuffle like a pro. My dance experience lately is doing the Wobble in the kitchen with the boy, or rather attempting it, or putting on some Sam Cooke then twisting and grooving around my room. I need to get put on my dancing shoes and get out! No mater where it happens, dancing always makes me smile.
Do you like to shake your groove thing? Is dance a big thing with your family?