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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Friday, February 18, 2005

Guilty Feet I've Got No Rhythm

For as long as I can remember, I have been into music. I collected albums, then tapes, then CDS and now MP3's. But as much as the music makes the people come together, I just talk about pop music. In short, I rarely dance to it. Normally, this doesn't bother me. But that pesky Leann Womack keeps not so subtlely reminding me that she hopes I dance. Sometimes, frankly, I just can't take her breathing down my neck like that.

I can't really say for sure when I made the switch from dancing flower to wallfower. All I can tell you is that when I was little, I wasn't the same person I am now. Oh no. Back then, I had the music in me.

When I was in first grade, I was in a dance contest at school. Not only do I remember that night vividly (down to the kickass tri shirt and skirt combo I was wearing), but I remember winning that dance contest and taking home a Michael Jackson 45 of "Billie Jean", thank you very much.

But as the years went on and my record collection grew, along with it grew my self-conciousness. By the time I got to middle school, I thought I had hung my dancing shoes up for good. It wasn't until I started attending sweet sixteens that my friends could manage to drag me out on the dance floor. Usually that was only if they could successfully fulfill my request to hear "Footloose". Then and only then, would I truly bust a move. (I told you all I was half a nerd so I ain't making any apologies.)

These days, I can pretty much successfully navigate the dance floor waters. I will only dance when summonsed and/or buzzed. I've also expanded my repitoire. "Jessi's Girl" has long replaced "Footloose" as the new clue to clear the floor and make way for Janet. By the way, I realize I'm actually going back in time with my song selections. It's all part of my theory that 5 years from now "Billy Don't Be A Hero" will totally be the shit.

So the other night you can imagine my own surprise when I heard myself accepting an invite to go to a club with a friend from work. When I got home, I had a good long talk with myself.

ME: What In the hell were you thinking accepting an invite like that?

ME TOO: What?

ME: Did you not learn anything from the choreographed but never before seen footage of block party dances to Madonna's "Burning Up" and Samantha Fox's "Naughty Girls Need Love, Too"?

ME TOO: Yeah, but it's been ages since I tried anything like that. I'm just going to a club with some people from work.

ME: So let me get this straight. You are going to not drink and manage to dance comfortably in front of new co-workers?

ME TOO: You're right. What in the hell was I thinking?

Needless to say, I sucked it up and decided to go to the club anyway. Yet within 5 minutes of being there, I felt like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing when she says she carried a watermelon. Not only was this a club, it was a latin music club. Now anybody who is anybody knows that a regular ol' dance club has its fair share of white guy, overbiter dancers and happy white drunk girls who like to sway a little too much to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline". But a latin club? A latin club is not for the faint of heart dancers. It's not for the under achievers. It's for the, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get Ya', Whole Rhythm Section was the purple gang type of dancers". Dancers that are cool enough to be professional, but too cool to bother to go professional, ya know what I mean?

So I did what any self respecting, white girl who is trying to break out of her dancing cocoon and into a beautiful butterfly would do. I got a drink AND a table and I HELD ON TO BOTH OF THEM FOR DEAR LIFE.

Then, this past weekend, I chaperoned the Valentine's Day dance. To my surprise I realized that even my little third graders have got some serious moves. Leave it to me to ironically get the bunch that can't stand still.

Don't get me wrong. I mean I'm all for expanding my dancing horizons. But even a local golfer knows not to get on the course with Tiger Woods. It's just common sense. Survival of the fittest as they say. Whoever they are, anyway.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a corner over there calling me with my name on it.



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