So as part of trying to keep life normal when my dad was sick, my Mom and I began taking an Oldies line dancing class. She's a bit of a Motown fanatic as it is, so it seemed like the perfect escape for an hour every Sunday. Dad was well enough at that point to be on his own for an hour plus travel time, so I would come over, spend the morning with him while Mom ran errands and then she and I would go off to the fire hall to learn how to Chez Vous, MJ shuffle, Wagner Walk, and Tush Push.
Mom is by far a much better dancer than me — or at least where this stuff is concerned. I guess she has Uncle Pat to thank for that because he was the one that taught her back when she was in grade school and he was in high school. It's always fun to see those two at a wedding because they can cha-cha with the best of em and their Chez Vous to "You Can't Hurry Love" is unbeatable. One of my favorite stories is hearing how exciting it was for Mom to go to her first high school dance. At St. E's back in the day, you were allowed to go to the Friday night high school dances as soon as you graduated eighth grade. So the first Friday night after the last day of eighth grade was sort of a big deal. Mom, I've been told many times, got all dressed up in her brand new sailor suit (apparently all the rage back then) and her patent leather dancing shoes and headed up through Canby Park to dance the night away with the high school kids.
So now when we go to these classes, every so often I get a glimpse of that excited eighth grader all ready to go to her first dance. Mom is sans the sailor suit at this point (a major improvement) but there is such an unencumbered joy when she does these dances. And you can tell they're just a part of who she is at this point because she's always throwing in spins and turns and extra stuff all over the place. It's really something.
So even with Dad gone and dancing now on Tuesday nights, we're still going pretty much weekly to learn all the newest (old) dance crazes. This week (after a wild goose chase to the Elsmere fire hall before I realized I told them the wrong place) Katie and Aunt Maryann came with us. I'm hoping that they'll come back because it was a blast sharing this with others.
Actually another motive of mine for keeping up with these classes is to be able to have a whole block of Motown music at my wedding and actually be able to dance to it. I'll never be as stylin' as Jerry Blavat, but I have to aspire to something, don't I? I think it would be neat to invite anyone who plans to come to the wedding (when I get around to it) who wanted to learn these dances to come to these classes so that they could do a few along with me and Mom and Uncle Pat. If nothing else, I'm going to make sure my Chez Vous is up to par so Mom and I can knock out "Can't Hurry Love" with the best of 'em.