Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DANCE WITH JOY


When I was two years old my parents left Ohio and moved to FL and we lived there until I was in the fifth grade. I don't remember precisely when my mother found "Dance with Joy," but I think it was probably around kindergarten. Joy taught ballet, tap, gymnastics, balance beam, and trapeze. Joy was a trapeze artist in her glory days. Joy was amazing.

I loved everything about taking classes with Joy. There was a summer show each year that was always a rush. I suppose those were my first stage performances. I was extremely limber and a terrible show-off. There was no place that was sacred in our house. I cartwheeled, frontwalkovered, backwalkovered, etc. up and down the hallway, through the living room, dining room, kitchen and so on. I remember a specific case of showing off for a neighborhood boy resulting in a torn dress because I forgot myself after church and cartwheeled through the living room. My mother said that I could not come out and play because I was grounded the rest of the day.

A friend of mine and I won third place in the local talent show to the song "Greased Lightning." We choreographed it ourselves and our picture was in the newspaper. I was pretty proud of us for that. We went to the same elementary school and she also took classes with Joy.

I really didn't see the move coming. As I said, I was very involved with the dancing and gymnastics thing. I was really close to backhandspringing around the house. I was doing aerial cartwheels in class with a spotter, but really wasn't getting and/or needing much help. I loved the fact that I could stand on one foot and pull my other foot over my head until it touched my nose. I was drunk on the fact that Miss Joy was graduating me up to let me wear tap shoes with a little heel and *toe* shoes. I was good enough that I was moving into the big leagues. And then we were moving ~ literally. Shazam.

My dad was really sick. We lived with my grandparents for the rest of my fifth grade year in Ohio. We moved to Newark, Ohio, that summer. We looked for a place that offered dance classes. Did you know that there is not a single dance studio in Newark that teaches trapeze? More importantly, they didn't even watch me dance before deciding that I wasn't good enough for *toe* shoes or tap shoes with a little heel and they weren't interested in my tumbling skills, either. I can't remember the name of that place. I don't recall ever doing a cartwheel again.

What else can I tell you about that girl? She loved DARK SHADOWS, the color purple, sitting in her dad's lap, walking barefoot, deliberately not wearing her glasses, her cat (Rowr), riding her bike, writing on her chalkboard, and having her hair brushed. I am sorry I can't tell you more. I barely knew her.

12 comments:

  1. Robin, this is beautifully written. It makes me believe that she must still be in there. Your writing about those cartwheels and back flips, sparkles with happiness and nostalgia. I hope she comes back for you again, even if it is just for brief moments of joy.

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  2. Time to go sign up for an adult ballet class, Robin! It's really something when something we love is also tied up with something we lost, like a place.

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  3. I'm with linda...when you love something that much you have to go and reclaim it.

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  4. I love this. You should definitely sign up for an adult dance class.

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  5. If you any of you come back to read my comment on your comments, I read all of them with a smile. I guess I don't really blog enough about "where I am at" because I try not be a a focus on the negative person. I have an appt with a chronic pain doctor on Thursday. I have been dealing with migraines forever. I eventually realized that chronic fatigue was part of that bailiwick. Just recently, I read up on fibromyalgia and I was like, "Holy moly, I have 90% of those symptoms." That was enlightening. When you have one pain that is so intense it tends to hide everything else. If you can try to see beyond it, that is when revelation happens. When you are getting hit in the head with a sledgehammer, you tend not to notice that you are also being beaten up all over with ball peen hammers. It just isn't registering. Turns out headaches/migraines are actually symptoms of the fibro. It's crazy. I kinda feel like a person in a snowglobe who has been turned upside down and shaken. I am paying a lot more attention to the rest of my body and all of my other "problems." Once you can identify it, you can treat it. The thing is this: I am not big on treating symptoms. I am more of a let's get to the root of this thing kind of person. We don't fix our cars by treating the symptoms.... Well, let's just put some duct tape on this here radiator. So... my pcp is also a get to the root of it kind of doctor. This Thursday appt will be interesting. I need a specialist who is special. Someone who is willing to band-aid it for now, BUT is also wanting to FIX it. I need this person for SSD. I need him to say that I can't work b/c I can't. The migraines are debilitating. Throw in the brain fog, the fibro and everything else and it is crazy. But, I want someone who is committed...who will work with my PCP once we get this SSD and get down to business. Because I don't want to STAY on SSD. I want to get BETTER. I accept it may take some time. Getting to the root always does. And then healing it takes more time. I accept that we are looking at years. In the meantime, that means sucky stuff like joint pain and possibly things like fragile bones. So, ballet might not be such a hot idea FOR NOW. But maybe yoga. I used to do yoga and loved it. I could maybe do a beginners class that wasn't too hard on my bones and joints. Maybe. I'd have to see. God knows I don't want to break things. The goal is getting better. But, it is like what you said, Chris. You do what you can. I am in the process of figuring that out.

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  6. Robin, you can do it. Its never too late. There are adult dance classes. If something makes you feel that good. you gotta do it!

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  7. I agree with the rest of them. You write about dancing with such nostalgia and vibrancy! I started yoga too, and though I've only been doing it since Easter I already feel calmer, taller, more in control! If dance is out of the question, try it!

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  8. I am with the others. Adult dance class has your name written all over it!! :)

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  9. Robin...this was beautiful as a dancer it really touched me and I ended up crying. You are an incredible writer and I missed you while on my trip. As for the comments I see here...I am sorry about your fibro I have RSD which is very similar but I rarely have effects from it anymore. I am so very sorry that you are suffering so much and my thoughts are with you.

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  11. Happy FF! Just stopping by to say hello!

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  12. I am following you from Friday Follow;-)

    Thanks
    Jeanette Huston
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