Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Can Danced-Part I-A Rough Beginning

remember when I was in 9th grade and I was having foot problems due to the high arches I inherited from my mother. We went to a foot doctor and he recommended I wear size 13AAA shoes. They were way too big for my feet and I felt like I was wearing clown shoes. I thought surely everyone would notice them and wrinkle up their nose at me. Believe me this is the last thing I wanted to have to deal with then. I wanted girls to like me and I had enough to worry about. I had braces on my teeth and acne on my face and yet to learn that projected confidence would make me desirable more than mere physical appearance. Of course, it didn’t help that girls then seemed to prefer rosy cheeked lads with perfect teeth.

So I was at this place in town where teens gathered one day after school. It had a juke box and a dance floor and someone was there to teach us how to dance. A girl I liked a lot came up to me and asked me to be her partner. But I was too embarrassed about my clown shoes and I replied, trying to be cool, “nah, I don’t want to”. She even coaxed me to try, so I paused a second and then said, “Nah, I don’t want to”.

So I watched, wanting so much to be out there with normal sized shoes having fun and being close to her. I walked home in a funk. God, I felt miserable and if boys were allowed to cry then, I have no doubt I could have “cried me a river”.

As I was still have some foot pain, we went to another foot doctor and he said to discard the clown shoes and put me into shoes my normal 10 ½ D size with arch supports. I was one of the turning points of my young life. Seriously! Having my braces removed came in a close second.

Later in high school, there would be sock hops in the gymnasium after football and basketball games. Ironically, shoes were not allowed on the gym floor so everyone danced in their socks. But I would not call what we did as dancing. It was more hold someone close and rock back and forth. This is what people do when they don’t really have a clue about how to dance. Rock and Roll was still a couple years away and the fast dances usually were some lively Glenn Miller tunes and not much was known about the art of the Jitterbug. The boys twirled the girls, and that was about all. The Bunny Hop was way more popular. Almost everyone could catch on and hold on to some hips. I remember Bunny Hoping during our Junior and Senior Proms where the entire class would form a snake line and hop around the room into the hotel hall and back.

But during times when we were done hopping, I would watch anyone that was a better dancer. Due to the lack of sufficient boys that could or even wanted to dance, girls would dance with each other. So I would ask the girl who was leading to dance with me and she would lead herself and would just hang on. Slowly I learned and got I got better and better.

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