Lipsticked smiles, hair bows in place, visions of choreography dancing in their heads. Granddaughters Sophia and Natalie were excited to be performing in their Dance Express spring recital.
The Performing Arts Center seats were packed with adoring family fans. Pawpaw’s camera was ready to shoot the action as a hush came over the crowd. It was time!
The girls danced their little hearts out to The Farmer in the Dell, Boy From New York City, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Mr. Sandman and Kiss the Girl.
Other troupes tapped, pirouetted, and flipped their way into delighting us and bringing us to our feet with applause. When the tumbling team captivated our attention, I was catapulted back to my Tennessee hometown.
And Mrs. Toohey’s basement dance studio.
Mom had signed me up for the beginner acrobatic class and I loved it. I was petite but feisty, determined to master cartwheels and backbends so I could move on to the fun stuff I saw the older girls doing.
My flexibility and balance paid off and I moved up to the next level. Soon I was learning roundoffs, splits and headstands. Mom allowed me to continue in classes for several years and recitals were fun displays of all that my team mates and I had accomplished.
My favorite was a floor routine with lots of front walkovers interspersed with somersaults, then jumping up high to catch balls thrown in from offstage. But I still had my eye on flying through the air doing a series of back walkovers. Of course, I wanted to land the last one like an Olympic gymnast.
Trouble was, I couldn’t seem to get enough momentum going to propel across the floor. I was stuck in start-stopping. Doing one walkover. Stop. Repositioning my body before kicking the first leg up again followed by the second. Sometimes after a few, my tiring back muscles didn’t want to curve any more and kept both legs suspended straight up in the air.
Thank goodness for a creative coaching team. Long canvas strips were wound around my waist and then their bodies. With a spotter on each side lifting me and helping me flip over, I succeeded.
I still remember that feeling of weightlessness, flying through the air with assistance and then on my own. Before long my muscles became strengthened and my confidence was built through session after session of relentless practice.
Seeing the joy of movement and pride of accomplishment that accompanied recital day for our granddaughters reminded me of why I had looked forward to mine. Motivated, I’m off to create my home version of movement class…music, rebounder, big blue ball to assist in back curling and a spacious flat backyard for my stage.
Weightless, yes that’s me alright! (chuckle)
I’d love to support you in capturing your growing up years, even as they pop up into your memory in the midst of living today’s moments. Have you shared with loved ones how you mastered something with a bunch of practice, or did something just come naturally to you? Let’s chat today about adding these jottings to your Legacy of Family Memories!
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