Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shuffle, ball, step, whizzz

OK, so I’m taking the tap class which you already knew. I’m so loving it, and I’m super-glad I decided to do it. Even doing the performance class, which does mean that in June my wee little class of 5 tappers will shake our booty on stage in front of something like 300 people. But I’ve been distracting myself from that knowledge by saying “that’s months away, and we have all this time to get it totally worked out in the meantime.”

This system was working really well up until last Saturday. But the stupid dance school had this stupid showcase. Where we had to do our stupid dance in front of stupid people. Big, dumb, stupid people! Also the closest I’ve come to wetting myself in front of an audience for years, so there’s that! (and can I also add “gleah.”)

So the thing that got me into taking the class, you may remember, was watching my 9 year old nephew do his performances the last 2 years. Plus I’d always come to his showcases to cheer him on, and I’d never really thought about why they did these showcase performances in front of people. But on Saturday I so had that lightbulb moment. This is pretty much just to give all us crazy dancing fools a chance to do this in front of people once or twice before we have to do it on the fancy stage. With the fancy costumes. And the fancy lights and maybe props and also the heart-wrenching terror and aneurism-inducing panic and stuff. So really it’s very smart of them. For being so stupid.

I am not a person who has ever suffered from stage fright (shocking, I know – I seem just SO shy!) and I’m not nervous about crowds (because I was raised by a crowd). Despite all of that, about 5 minutes after things got rolling I SO had to pee! Psycho-symatic nervous bladder if ever I’ve had one. I’d already peed at home, so I knew this was my body giving me the excuse to make a break for it! I resisted, though, and sat there and waited and nervoused and got that ulcer started that I’ve been putting off and putting off…

What I loved, though, was watching that young nephew of mine. This is his third year of classes and showcases and performances, so he’s the perfect picture of “whatever….” Blasé by age 9 – SUCH the cool dude. So I’m sitting in my row and we’re giggling and tittering and craning to watch every other group as they get up and do their thing. And each time they announce the next three groups coming up we’re hoping and dreading to hear out name, right? And there’s my nephew across the dance floor. And he’s reading. He doesn’t look up at the other dancers even once. He’s up to his elbows in some book and couldn’t be less worried if I’d paid him! He’s all ‘read, read, read, get up and do his dance without a single mistake, back to book, read, read, read…” Way, way TOO cool for any kind of school, my friend. I so want to be him when I grow up!

At the end of the concert— what? The dance? Oh, it was fine. I made a bunch of mistakes that I’ve never made before even once and felt stupid and afterward my adrenaline had me vibrating like… something that vibrates. Don’t go there. Plus we had to go right after this dance by the tap company which is made up primarily of class teachers and other dancing hotties and oh yeah the OWNER of the school, and the dance was so incredibly cool that I stood there, off-stage, with my big, dumb mouth just hanging open in gawkitude. A proud, proud moment. To be immediately followed by my mess-ups. And thank GOD we’ve got another showcase in April so I can have one more shot at doing this dance, this dance which I TOTALLY KNOW AND SHOULD NOT BE MAKING ANY MISTAKES IN, doing this dance in front of people without messing up. Because every single mistake was just me being flipped out about SO MANY PEOPLE. Like I didn’t know this was coming…

Anyway, after all the dancers were done one of the teachers calls my too-cool-for-school nephew up to the stage to tell everyone that it was his birthday (it was – 9-year old nephew no more, for now you are ten!) and have everybody sing to him. Which he stood and graciously took. And the second the song pittled off he turned to her and said “can I go now?”

Ten years old, going on thirty.


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