Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dance Class - Pat, 77

At age four I was enrolled in tap dance class.  It was 1939-40.  I don't know if Shirley Temple could be blamed for this.  I choose to think it was Mom's love of dance. 

I don't remember a lot about my classes.  I do remember my recital.  It was on the stage of the Orphum Theater, a beautiful ornate theater with dramatic staircases on either side of the lobby.  We were dressed as pirates with oilcloth boots and big red sashes.  No such thing as frills in those days.  We stood back stage for what seemed like an eternity to a little girl.  They had us line up to practice our routine, it went well including our main "shuffle off the buffalo" move. And then we were herded back stage.

I asked mom when we were going to perform.

She said, "You just did."

Wow. I was so disappointed.

Dad built me a wooden platform in the basement to practice on. I didn't much like going down the basement alone with the huge monster that was in residence there with a furious mouth and ugly asbestos wrapped arms reaching in all direction, bellowing groans and sinister sounds as the heat rose to its destination.

One day I refused to go down and practice. Mom gave me an ultimatum: either go down and practice or she would call and cancel my lessons.  I stood firm.  That was the end of my dance career.

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