Dance Like No One is Watching

April 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm (Fun, Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

When I was growing up we had two television channels: CBC and CTV. CBC is the more nationalistic channel well CTV is not above showing series that originated in the United States. CBC is news and sports and Canadian series.

CBC Friday, up until recently, was comedy. However, when I was growing up CBC on Fridays was news and music. The evening started with Front Page Challenge and ended with the Tommy Hunter Show. The Tommy Hunter show was on from 9 – 10pm.

My mom and I had a deal. As long as I was in bed by 9pm, I could read until the lights were turned off at 10pm. This is what I did, every night except for Fridays. On Fridays, I stayed up and watched the Tommy Hunter Show.

I wrote here, a very long time ago, about my favourite dancing dress. What has one to do with the other, I hear you asking?

The last time I remember dancing with complete joy and utter recklessness, I was seven, eight, nine, ten; before tap dancing lessons and figure skating taught me how uncoordinated I was.

On Friday nights, when I was young, I would put on my knee length, white A-line dress and dance with joy, without fear, not caring who else was in the room. I was perfection herself. I was beautiful.

For the longest time, I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I would read both fiction and non-fiction books on the ballet. I would do the exercises. I spent a lot of my early childhood walking on my tiptoes.

At that time, no one in small town Saskatchewan had access to Ballet lessons. The closest we came to formal dances was in gym class (uncomfortable), tap lessons (loud) or figure skating (impossible).

I wanted just to dance, to feel the music to my core and to have no one watching me.

No one got this! My mother raised four children alone, three girls and one boy, and her idea of fairness was to have us all take the same lessons; piano, tap dance and figure skating. My eldest sister is very gifted in all these areas. If we had been richer, I swear she could have won Olympic medals for her figure skating and major awards for her piano playing.

This was not the right approach for me. They should have just ignored me and left me to my own dancing devices.

I am most like the youngest dancing princess in The Twelve Dancing Princesses; cautious and curious – never an easy combination.

I want to dance. I want to fly free. I want to tango, foxtrot and waltz. I want a free, flowing ball gown – like this. I need to dance like no one is watching – ever.

I went to my first high School dance the September I was thirteen. It was a disaster. I have come to realize, now, that everyone’s first public dance is a disaster. Well, public as in dancing in front of your peers.

I went to my first dances before I was three; they were wedding dances. The year I was three, I lived with my mother’s parents. My grandmother’s sister-in-law had 13 children and a good handful of them got married before I turned five and started kindergarten.

Those dances were joyful. My first High School dance was anything but!

It was a division 3 welcome back to school dance which meant grades 7 – 9. My next older sister went with her boyfriend, she was 15 and they had been dating for awhile.

It was just like in Sixteen Candles; the boys stayed on one side of the gym and the girls on the other. Only established couples danced. No one asked me to dance. No one talked to me but then I didn’t talk to anyone either. I went home crying. Nothing anyone said helped. There’s no way I’d ever want to be 13 again!

I wish I hadn’t lost that ability to dance freely and joyful. I wish I had someone to take dance lessons with. I still feel the music.

I felt like dancing this morning. I was happy. My African Violet is sprouting buds after two years of no blooms.

I didn’t dance.

I fear the only place I may dance again is at a Masquerade where no one will see my face and thus will not know who I am.

I have a very good idea for a Halloween Masquerade centered on Queen Mab and the legend of Tam Lin.

Be joyful and light.

Remember to dance like no one is watching.



  1. Stubblejumpers Café said,

    Your early TV viewing years sound EXACTLY like mine. Exactly!

  2. mysticaldodo said,

    Remember to dance like no one is watching. That strikes a chord with me. I have yet to be half as courageous as I want to be. Thanks for writing this 🙂

  3. solitaryspinster said,

    Glad you like it and Stubblejumpers Café, maybe I am You 😉 (wink).

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