April 26, 2018

The Dancing Queen

A few years ago my daughter gave me a plaque with the inscription Dance Like There Is No One Looking. Tears poured down my cheeks in a surprise outburst of emotion ... my child understood, clearly saw, and acknowledged my spirit.

My family has watched (in horror?) as I "secretly" danced around the house, in the yard, car, and occasionally, publicly, on the dance floor. Elaine Benes on Seinfeld had nothing on me - we shared a unique dance expression.

Seinfeld The Elaine Dance* https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Elaine+Seinfeld+Dancing+Long+Version&&view=detail&mid=837E63003BC598A9F80D837E63003BC598A9F80D&&FORM=VRDGAR

In junior high I attended an occasional dance with my girlfriend where we were mercilessly teased and mimicked by the boys (boys will be boys, sigh). Over the years, as I revisited the memory, my confidence had already been affected to the point where I'd hide my "cool" dance moves. I still danced but for my eyes and entertainment only.

A turning point in my dance-insecurity was at a cousin’s wedding ... an aunt pulled me to the dance floor as the DJ played a particularly popular and fun song. Now this aunt was a wonderful dancer, as are some of my family, so I was hesitant, shy, afraid, and excited all at the same time. My aunt's beaming smile was an encouragement and so I danced albeit stiffly and awkwardly.

The first dance ended and we were having a ball. I felt eyes on us and almost backed off the floor but the pull of the music was too much. We urged some of our children onto the floor and all evening I danced "like there was no one looking". I felt like The Dancing Queen. I twisted, bopped my head, bobbed my rear, even made up dance moves for the lyrics of some songs. Concern for other's opinion went out the window to the lyrics of Y M C A. I just danced! Just danced!

My imperfections are abundant, especially in dancing, but overall and in the scheme of life - who cares? Bullies can impact our future - I absolutely know - but it is so refreshing to rise above the memories and be relatively free of judgers (still a work in progress). Dancing freely as I do now at weddings is so much fun and allows me to express myself, perhaps I make myself a "fool" - I feel at peace with this.

Just remember if you are going to invite me to your family wedding -- I have me some good moves, and I'll use them.

"In Feresten's 8th-season Seinfeld episode "The Little Kicks," the dance has more disastrous effects for Elaine (Benes): Her staff at J. Peterman, after seeing her dance, loses respect for her. When Jerry and Kramer tell her she "stinks" at dancing, she videotapes herself to see -- and wrecks the bootlegged movie Jerry was working on." (from Yahoo! TV Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Oct. 10, 2016)

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