At the ripe old age of 9, I pretty much thought I was hot stuff. My mother was kind enough to let me take an outrageous number of dance classes (I am specifically obsessed with tap dance and clogging) and piano lessons. I was never involved in sports- just dance and piano.
When I started dance lessons as a 6 year old, my class would practice one dance number and perform it at a recital, where all the parents and grandparents and friends, etc would come and watch and be oh so proud of their little dancer. I remember coming out from behind stage after the recitals were over, greeting my family and they'd always give me a flower bouquet to congratulate my completely awesome performance. I'd notice the older, more advanced dancers were getting three, four, even five bouquets of flowers after the shows, and I couldn't wait to be an "older dancer." Plus, the older girls got to be in multiple dances at each recital! I sooooo badly wanted to be in more than just one measly dance.
I set my sights to be an amazing dancer. A dancer who would wow her audience, one who would keep dancing no matter what- yes, even if her shoe fell off mid-dance.... I would keep on dancing, just like my teacher always said to do.
Back to age 9. As I mentioned, I pretty much ruled the dance floor and took dance SO seriously, that I had worked my way into a special recital, one that was going to be TELEVISED! And not only that... I was going to be dancing in 5 numbers. People, I had arrived. The big leagues. I was the prima donna.
(or so I thought.)
One of my tap-dance numbers was set to the song "Singin' in the Rain." We all wore these awesome, sleeveless, super shiny flapper-like leotards- I mean these things that shiny fringes galore. I loved the outfit so much and even wore it around the house in the days previous to the recital. I wore it a little too much, I think, because the strap that went around my neck, holding the leotard up, became loose and unstitched, only hanging on by a few threads. At the dress rehearsal, my teacher pointed that out and said, "Be sure to have your mom sew that, ok?"
You can see where this is going, can't you.
So, the big night came. The night of the TELEVISED recital. The night I would be showered with three thousand flower bouquets after the show. I was dancing my heart out on stage, having a blast, and it was time to don my sparkly, shiny flapper leotard. My friends and I went out, and started tapping away. Man, I was so skilled- did you know I have fast feet? Perfect rhythm, too. Soon though, I noticed that the pressure of the strap behind my neck wasn't so tight anymore. In fact, there was no pressure at all.
I looked down. Yup. My top was falling down.
"I should do something to fix this", my brain thought.
"NO! No matter what happens, keep dancing, remember?" my feet said. I remembered how advanced dancers just keep going when their shoes fly off.
And that, my friends, is where my heart took over. I danced. I danced and I danced, forgetting all my worries. And my top sunk lower and lower, until BAM there it all was. I was half nude.
I was half nude and dancing.
Dancing my heart out.
The song ended and lights went out. We took our cue to run off stage. There, backstage, was my teacher. Looking aghast.
"What's wrong?" I asked, thinking there's no way she'd be mad at me for my straps falling down. I had, after all, kept dancing, right?
"YOUR CHEST IS SHOWING! YOUR LEOTARD IS HANGING AT YOUR WAIST! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!"
People- I just wanted to be a pro dancer. And I'm afraid, that at the ripe old age of 9, I became a temporary, accidental, exhibitionist.
Needless to say- the recital did not end up on television.
But I'm pretty sure I did wow my audience.
My brave Izzy and I, "Cliff jumping" in Maui. It was much higher than it looks. Er- I think.
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