Friday, February 10, 2012

Jazz Dance

“Honey, I’m going to dance class tonight,” I tell my husband Dave. “I’m desperate!”

I’ve been taking a break from my weekly jazz and tap classes on account of a wretched case of plantar fasciitis. It’s been almost six weeks, and my heels are still sore even from a simple walk around the block with my dog Rocky. But I’m determined not to lose all my hard-won conditioning.

Decision made, I’ve left myself only 15 minutes to eat and get ready. I snarf down my bowl of butternut squash ravioli, throw on my cotton knit pants and signature t-shirt that says Peace in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, grab my purse, and I’m out the door.

I’ve got this trip down to a science, having made it weekly for at least ten years. If I leave punctually at 7:00, I can make it by exactly 7:15, just in time for class. I pull into the parking lot at the big barn that houses Village Dance Studio, turn off the ignition, and grab my…

Dang, I forgot my dance bag with my jazz and tap shoes!

Quick calculation: If I drive back home to get them, I miss most of the warm-up, and it’s that stretching and strengthening that I crave the most. I’ll just have to make do.

Class is just about to start as I enter the studio, the high school girls who are my classmates clustered in small groups chatting. The teacher greets me by name. Everyone else ignores me, the lone 66-year-old who has been absent for six weeks. Most of them never do make eye contact with me anyhow. I’m use to being invisible.

What’s strange is that nobody seems to notice that I’m wearing my cruddy green Crocs ripoffs, the permanently dirt-stained rubber shoes that I wear all season long for working in the garden. I selected them tonight for their cushy cradling of my plantar fascia on the way to the studio, not because I planned to dance in them. But what the heck, I can at least wear them for the warm-up.

We start with the usual head isolations: chin down, head back, and down and back, and side and side … Oh, it feels good to be moving my body again… and ear and ear …God, my hair is scary, much too long and sort of, well, lumpy…and lean, lean, lean and stretch…But at least I colored it the other day, “light golden brown,” maybe a bit too red, considering I don’t wear makeup anymore…and reach, reach, reach, and down and rollllll up, and again…Note to self: Get a haircut ASAP.

Now sit, feet forward, and lean, lean, lean, head to the knee and hollllllld…Kicking off my Crocs ripoffs, feet forward, bend forward and strettttttch, and…Oh no, my yellow cotton socks…and up extending arms to the side…Toes peaking through, at least two…and bend and stretch…Thankfully I got a pedicure before our Puerto Rico vacation so the nails are a nice shade of coral…and bend and stretch…OMG, holes in the heels too!…and hollllld. Lose the socks! Up again for exercises across the floor, piqué turn, soutenu, can do, soutneu, need the socks to turn…pull them on again, holes and all…and walk walk developé, chassez, chassez…What’s that aroma?…and step step saut de chat…Could it be? Yes it is…soutenu, soutenu…My smelly socks…and chassez, chassez, step cross…Mortified, mortified…piqué, piqué...But it feels oh so good!

I’m daaancing again!


  1. Maybe just as well to be ignored!
    Good luck on your new blog.

  2. Sounds like a class to forget! Somehow, the dancing grannies don't exist for most of the teenagers. They seem to forget we were one once! And that person is still inside--just the outside looks different!! Kaye