Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dirty Dancing

The passing of Patrick Swayze does not come as a shock, but it does come with great sadness. Patrick Swayze sparked my interest in dance when I was six years old. Yes, sorry to say, but it wasn’t a belly dancer that captivated my attention with the dance world. Hell, it wasn’t even Swayze’s co-star, Jennifer Grey. Nope, it was a man- a gorgeous, muscular, tight-jeans wearing man that made me swoon at the ripe age of six.
I watched “Dirty Dancing” so many times that my mother thought I was developing an unhealthy infatuation with Patrick Swayze, and she eventually hid the tape from me. Ok, I’ll admit, at first I just thought Swayze was hot (and I was six, this was all so new to me!), but after my second or third time watching “Dirty Dancing” I really did become obsessed with the dancing and not just with Swayze‘s hot buns.
Being quite the driven six year old, I studied the choreography for the grand finale of the movie (“Time of my Life”) until I had it memorized. And then I proceeded to teach it to myself. Unfortunately, no one video taped my rendition, so I’m not sure how it really turned out. But I’m sure you can imagine.
I took things a step further, and asked my first grade teacher if I could perform the choreography for our class. When she hesitated, I saw that I needed to step things up a notch, so I told her that my mom was a dance instructor and that we had been working very hard on this piece (turns out I was a great little actress, too).
My teacher agreed to let me put on a performance for our class. She was kind enough to push some of the desks together so I would have a “stage”. I remember that I didn’t feel nervous, just excited (so different from how my adult self feels before a performance). I even attempted a flip during the show, and promptly landed on my butt.
Despite the flawed flip, my classmates loved my performance. And I thought all was well, until my mom came home from parent-teacher interview night a few weeks later. I can just imagine the look of confusion on my mom’s face as my teacher told her about my performance and asked about my mom’s dance teaching career.
My mom is cool, though, and didn’t punish me in any way. And I even got my “Dirty Dancing” tape back. However, I do wonder why my mom didn’t enrol me in dance lessons until two years later. Wasn’t it obvious that I was destined to be a dancer? At six years old, I was already convinced!
So, my gratitude to Patrick Swayze and his hot dance moves (and his hot ass).

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