I wanted so desperately to be a dancer when I was in college. I took my first dance class first semester, sophomore year. It was a Beginning Modern class and I found out very quickly that I could neither turn, leap nor spin to anyone’s satisfaction. As soon as I lifted one foot off the floor, I invariably toppled over. None of that stopped me, however, from summoning my inner-Jennifer Beals and wearing leg warmers pretentiously around campus, filling half my schedule with Modern and Jazz classes and nonchalantly affecting Fourth Position whenever someone engaged me in hallway conversation.
I never worried about appearing foolish, but I did worry about my grades. I was such an incompetent dancer, it was impossible to grant me an A or a B solely for my in-class routines. But, lucky for me, part of each class grade (a surprisingly big part) was based on reviewing professional dance performances.
We had to do a two-page paper on two shows for each class. I’d go into the city and see Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Pilobolus. And somehow – by some small miracle – my dance ineptitude was mitigated by my (often tenuous) ability to string some sentences together, and I managed to make Dean’s List every semester, dance classes notwithstanding.
I don’t remember who first sent me this video. The quality is poor and doesn’t do the performance justice. But watching it gives me a lift like little else can.
THE 12 GAYS OF CHRISTMAS
My New Year’s Resolution was to learn this dance before the year was up. But I’m not making very good progress. I guess I’m just destined to write about it instead.