Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dancing With the Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs

Dancing with the Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs

I like to dance. 
I learned to dance when I was twelve, approaching my Bar Mitzvah.  My aunt, with the help of my cousin Rocky who was 20 at the time, taught me to dance the Lindy, Cha Cha, Waltz, Rhumba, Merenge’, Foxtrot, and even a Tango. They and my mother felt I should be able to dance at the Bar Mitzvah.

To that end, they gave me lessons in my aunt’s apartment in the Bronx.  I was probably an ok student and still remember how to do the steps they taught me with the exception of the Tango.

My wife also likes to dance these dances, and we do so every chance we get when we go to parties such as Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.  

At these types of celebrations, the band or DJ will play music that suits these dances in between the current music such as hip hop, currently favored by people with no musical taste (am I sounding like my grandparents here?).

We try not to miss a chance to dance, and we make quite a good couple doing it.  People who know us expect us to dance the Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Merenge’, Lindy, etc, at all Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.  We put on a show.

My parents also loved to dance and they specialized in “The Peabody” which was a dance from the 30’s that no-one now remembers.  It was a showy dance that propelled them around the dance floor.  As time went on, no band or DJ had the music for it and my parents resorted to having to dance to music that could be adapted to the dance.

At one time, I was afraid that would happen to my wife and me.  No-one would play the music for these dances that we could perform.  I no longer fear that happening.  

“Dancing with the Stars” has changed all that.  

That program has revived the typical ballroom dances and made them popular again.  We are saved.
The drawback is we don’t know the carefully choreographed versions shown on that program.  We also lack the costumes that seem to be necessary to dance these steps. I’m willing to wear the costumes if my wife is.  I’m not sure how these costumes might fit into the Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs we attend, but on a cruise they might be fine.  Not easily embarrassed, I’m open to the possibilities.

My wife who is an avid fan of Dancing with the Stars wants us to update our dancing repertoire.  To that end she decided one year to get us dance lessons.  She called around to check out the cost with the idea of presenting the dance lessons to me as a birthday gift.

The day of my birthday arrived, and she gave me a card with the notation that her gift was saving me $600 by not booking the dance lessons.  A gift I greatly appreciated.  Barbara brags about this gift (savings) as if it were a real gift.  Since it did save me the $600 I go along with her version and she gets credit for this gift.

Never the less, Barbara is watching the show avidly and taking mental notes of steps we could incorporate into our dance routines.  So far we have not acted on her ideas; perhaps because of a lack of costumes.

The dance lessons of my aunt and cousin paid off.  I can dance adequately those ballroom dances they taught me.
Whenever my wife and I dance, someone usually comes over and asks us where we learned to dance.
“Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs”, I always answer, “Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs”, the key to good dancing.

As an aside, let mention that a family friend filmed my Bar Mitzvah. 

At the Bar Mitzvah, my cousin Rocky danced a very energetic Mambo with her then current boyfriend.  She was wearing a very tight, low cut dress with fringes that accentuated her every move.  The two of them put on quite a show (there was also kissing at the table).

I have the film and converted it to VHS some years ago.  Whenever I can, I show that scene to Rocky’s grandchildren.  They seem to feel they can use it against her. Rocky usually shows her displeasure with my innocent airing of the tape in a creative verbal manner that often refers to the legitimatecy of my lineage and family relationship to a female dog.

I once sent the tape to another cousin of mine who had also attended my Bar Mitzvah.  She had a group of cousins, including Rocky, over for a party or dinner.  She showed the tape to everyone. It was reported to me that everyone really got a kick out of watching the tape.

An added Bonus was Rocky’s embarrassment. 

What more could I ask for?

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