Well, I don’t think that. I have no such delusion on the matter. I cannot dance.
But, boy-o-boy, I wish I could.
You see, I am a Pentecostal preacher’s daughter and dancing was considered…of the devil? I can’t remember the exact thing, but it was associated with sin and off-limits. Remember the the movie “Footloose?” Preacher’s daughter likes the bad-boy dancer and they plan a secret dance? Well, in that movie, the preacher gives in. Not so for me.
But oh how I loved the TV show American Bandstand with Dick Clark when I was little. My dad got rid of our TV in favor of more prayer and Bible study before I turned 6 (which was really good for reasons I shall write about soon), so sometime before that, I managed to get to watch American Bandstand with no one knowing. Rock music was out, too, naturally.
I have this memory of me in the living room on a Saturday evening, adults in the dining room visiting, eating. I’d been watching the Alfred Hitchcock Show and I am not saying it was condoned, but I don’t remember worrying about being found out. Anyway, it went off or I turned the channel, not sure which, but suddenly I am watching American Bandstand in 1966 in all its’ flip hairdos and pencil skirts and white sweaters and maybe a little twist going on.
I think I am alone. I lower the sound so as not to be found out. I start dancing like the teens on the TV. I am really in to it, so much so I spin around and –
The color surely drained from my face because there stood my Grandma Hallet. She had walked in on me. She saw me dancing. I just knew she was going to tell my dad and I would be in for it. Doomed.
But instead, sensing the depth of my mortification, she started waving her arms and bouncing her ample girth up and down and stepping a little to the right, a little to the left. While fear was still pounding through my ears, she, in an effort to put me at ease and act as though this were the most normal thing in the world, said to me, “Isn’t this great? Such good exercise, put to music!”
I retreated to the footstool, no courage to join her in fancy dancing.
I’d been caught. By grace.
I wish I’d have danced with my Grandma. What a silly little scaredy-cat I was. It makes me smile to remember her, covering me with a happy dance, though.
Every kid should have that kind of a grandma!
Another JOY thing!
At Tara’s wedding, we somehow convinced my parents to dance and they liked it. So now, at pretty much every reunion, our whole family finds some reason to dance – even the parents. I guess my dad finally did give in, just not in time for me to figure it out. I am going to try to “encourage” square dancing at this reunion. It seems it would be fabulous fun!
pictured: My little brother Joe, my Grandma Hallet, and me when I was 3 1/2 or so.