Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Without Dance, What's The Pointe?

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

I could have been a Dancer you know...God knows I tried.  

Here's my unlucky tale...

First of all, I could have been in Riverdance.  I started Irish Dance classes in a little galvanised community hall in the countryside when I was about three years old.  I don't remember much about it apart from one two three four five six seven, one two three, one two three...and I remember the little tartan skirt and moss green coloured tights I wore because they were so itchy. I'm sure I would have been good at it.  However, we moved away from the area before I had a chance to be discovered.

And that marked the end of my Irish Dancing days.

Speaking of Riverdance, I looked it up and was once again captivated! We're used to seeing it now but when it was first performed, it was so completely different to anything before it. It blew everyone away!

Have a watch of what was one of Ireland's two high points 

(The other one being that  moment in 1990 when Packie Bonnar saved the day-that was the happiest Ireland probably ever will be, though, like Gatsby, we didn't realise it at the time.  We were too busy having a street party that could be spotted from space)

Here's Riverdance:

When we moved to our new town, I was signed up for ballet lessons as soon as I was old enough to join my older sisters.  I had been smitten by the flowing dresses they had worn at a performance and was starry eyed at being allocated the part of a baby robin in the next show.

Unfortunately it transpired that my sisters weren't that interested in ballet and began another activity which was on at the same time.  In those days children did one out of school activity.

That was the end of my ballerina days.

But dance was in my not to be discouraged, some time later, another sister and I went to an open day of the now gone Digges Lane Dance Studio. It was a state of the art dance school. Our aim was to become masters of swing:

(Something like this:)

We joined one of the free sampler class and  were soon enthuiastically dancing barefoot to the strains of Reet Petite, when suddenly looking down, my sister noticed she was jiving in a pool of blood!  Somebody (clearly a worse dancer than us ) had inadvertently trod on her foot which was now spurting blood all over the highly polished professional dancefloor...which now looked something like this:
We left with embarrassed  haste.

And so ended my Swing days.

Well God loves a trier, so the next year I spotted a flyer for Latin & Ballroom Dance classes.  The day and time suited me perfectly...

Source: via Judy on Pinterest

The only problem was I had no boyfriend and none of my friends were too interested.  So I rang the number on the flier and told them I wanted to take the class but that I had no partner.

"Oh that's no problem at all, come along and there's always a partner to be found"

Armed with that reassurance I signed up...turned up...and no spare dancers to be found...

"Oh that's no problem" said the male dance instructor "You can be my partner...I need someone to demonstrate.."

So with stars in my eyes and dreams of my name in lights I enthusiastically joined the troupe.  All went well until the instructor needed to go around the other dancers checking on them.

"Oh that's no problem...just continue on..." 
He told me.

So I continued my latin moves, whirling and swirling keeping perfect time with my partner...air.

My humiliation was complete when a young married couple in the class who were near me felt sorry for me and asked me would I like to join a threesome.

And so ended my Latin Dance days.

But this story has a happy ending.  Last year my children got a gift of Wii 'Just Dance'.  All my dreams have come true.  And even if my teens see fit to close the curtains and beg me to stop whenever I turn on my favourite tune and if even if yet another sister laughed heartily at the sight...who cares???

Well anyway, do you know that Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected.  Time for all of us.


  1. My thoughts, well I have only just stumbled upon your blog and of what I have seen, read, I love it and have now followed.

    I look forward to seeing and reading many more excellent and enchanting posts.

  2. I could have written this post...I took ballet, tap, jazz, and ballroom (swing, latin, waltz etc) lesson. Oh the things I could have been ;-)

    I saw Riverdance in Dublin at the Gaiety while I was studying abroad there in 2004. It was fantastic! The only reason I haven't had step-dance lessons is no one around here teaches them lol

  3. Oh Jess, The Gaiety is just magical. It's funny to think of Ireland as 'abroad' :-)
    Oh, I forgot to mention I also went to Irish set dancing classes for quite some time when my husband & I were dating, that was great fun.

  4. Jennifer,

    My comment will be off topic ( my daughter is a dancer but that is for another day). This is the Perinatal Loss/Hospice nurse whose video you commented on...I got an email asking if anyone knows an OB physician in Ireland who would be compassionate to a newborn palliative care situation. You can email me back at Thanks!

  5. Hi Jennifer:) Thanks for the visit and love your dance timeline post! You got way more farther then I did! Ah I never got passed ballet at 7 years. I think I was more into the tutu and slippers! I will for sure being visiting again and thanks for your input on the book list!

  6. Haha!!! This is hysterical :) It is amazing all the twists and turns life can deal. But I admire your persistence. My nephew Austin has been doing Irish Dance in the DC area for years now and has great dreams of dancing in Riverdance. He is super talented but perhaps not serious enough to continue when he discovers girls ;) Thanks so much for the visit. I couldn't find your email address (it wasn't linked to your blogger name?) but I wanted to let you know you are on my list of blogs to keep up with!

    1. Oh Thanks Lisa!! Irish dance is lovely and a super sport, those dancers are so fit! I hope you enjoy my future posts, though I'm finding it hard to find a window of opportunity this week to sit down and write, I'm hoping Friday :-)

  7. Oh, lovely. I think we can all identify with this, if not about dance then about some other activity. I realised pretty early on, probably round about 5 or 6, after a few ballet classes and after my poor mother had struggled to find the money to buy the pumps and sewed my ballet tunic, that I was never going to be the next Margot Fonteyn. Tried ballroom in my teens but I think I just have two left feet. The Wii sounds like the perfect answer :-)

  8. Nice blog Jennifer. I have to share. As one with two left feet I can also identify.


I'd love you to leave your thoughts...I will not approve disrespectful, personal or inflammatory comments, especially if they are under Anonymous. If you want to partake in online abuse I recommend trying elsewhere.