And She Danced
Before the years of wondering how to control my weight, I was a very slender girl.
"You need to eat more!" my grandma would say, so I'd kindly save her the trouble of wrapping any leftover Sunday butter-bit rolls by polishing off the rest in the bread basket. It never showed.
Some would chalk that up to youth and a fast metabolism. Maybe, but now, knowing what I know, I have a feeling that it simply had more to do with MOVING.
I moved constantly! When I think about the amount of calories I burned during the day, it's no wonder I was wispy and thin.
I took gymnastics. I took dancing. I was in flag corps. Because there was a super crush-worthy boy who lived on the hill portion of our long street, I rode my bike at least 5 miles a night each summer, hoping to catch a glimpse of him as I just "happened" to roll by. I was in show choir and in all the musicals. Countless talent shows. My friends and I felt like the off-season for flag corps was too long and started up our school's first winter guard. There was no shortage of movement. I am guessing I was in motion four or five hours a day.
On Saturday nights, my high school sponsored a dance, designed to keep us out of trouble. Those dances were FUN. It was the eighties, people! Best music ever, right? They'd have a DJ, door prizes, food, soft drinks and DANCING. Somehow, despite loads bangles, cans of AquaNet and layers of Wet n' Wild cosmetics, my friends and I were not weighed down at all. We danced and danced some more...the only motivation we needed was hearing our favorite songs.
Why did I ever stop?
I loved the years that I took dance lessons at a neighborhood studio. We'd rehearse all year for the annual recital. Everyone in our neighborhood took lessons, as well as girls from around our city. It was interesting to meet them...a glimpse into life outside our small suburban bubble. Girls from affluent private schools somehow seemed less intimidating once we were all in our uniform leotards and tights, in our tap shoes and toe shoes. The music would come on and suddenly, it was most important for us to all look the same. The same fluid movements. Kicks the same height. Everything in unison.
One of the most perfect sounds I've ever heard? Those moments after linking arms for a kickline followed with the perfect sound of jump-kick-jump-kick-jump-kick....not a bunch of sloppy jump-kicks where you could hear feet that weren't in sync, but that singular sound of many. I loved that.
And I'm going to get a chance to do it again.
I just got an email from my dance teacher. This year marks the 50th show she's put on since she started teaching dance. And she has invited as many of her past students as she can find, thanks to the wonders of the Internet (though she only had to go through a childhood friend of mine to locate me!) and we're going to do a little number at the end of the recital this spring.
And yes, I will be at my goal weight by the time I join those girls on stage, one last time. That wooden stage framed by bright lights, where I used to pretend I was a star and everything seemed possible, if I could imagine it.
I wish rehearsals began tomorrow. Isn't it funny how things come into our lives at just the right time? I so needed something to look forward to.
I can't wait! A year ago I would have said, no way. I won't be ready. But now I know that I will be ready... LET'S DANCE!