Dance turned a dark corner for me when my ballet teacher told me and my parents that I was too big to be a ballet dancer (previous post). So, when the next school year began, my parents enrolled me in a modern dance class.
Oh joy, I was dancing again. Toward the end of the year, our teacher choreographed "Alice in Wonderland" for us to perform. Oh ecstacy, I got a part in a duet! I was Tweedle Dum and my neighbor, Kathy, was Tweedle Dee. She was very short and pole thin. I was quite a bit taller and much rounder. We had circle skirt costumes.
Performance day came and two things went very wrong. My parents had some sort of concert tickets that evening and so declined to come to my performance. (Baaaaaad Mommy and Daddy!) At least they didn't see our embarassing duet....
For our duet, Kathy and I were to enter from opposite sides of the stage. But somebody had mixed up our costumes. On her side, a helper wrapped my too long skirt around her tiny waist twice and safety pinned it in place. On my side, a helper broke the zipper trying to get her skirt over my shoulders and then tied it around my waist with a cord, which made it so short that it barely covered my crotch.
When we entered, the audience broke into laughter at the sight of our odd, bedraggled-looking costumes. Kathy stood and waited for the laughter to subside. I fled the stage in humiliation. Our dance teacher pushed me back on. The audience laughter increased and again I fled. Meanwhile the music started and Kathy began to dance her part. When Mrs. Kane pushed me on the stage again, I finally figured out where in the choreography we were supposed to be and began to dance.
Although the audience clapped for us, that was the end of dancing for me for a very long time. After that third grade fiasco, I knew, 100%, absolutely I could not be a dancer. I avoided dances and dancing all through my school years. In high school and college, if I went to a dance at all, it was always hugely terrifying and stressful. I'd act out, gossip with the girls, drink (college) and leave early.
I wanted (more than anything!) to dance. I envied the slender, pretty girls dancing close with their boyfriends. I loved the music. My inner body would move, in a way I hoped nobody would notice, to the music. I was trapped in a mind that constantly trumped with one old ballet card and two old modern dance cards.
There's more to discover about me and dance.... next post.