Archive for Tuesday, November 21, 2000

I’d love to dance … really

November 21, 2000

Do you dance? No, not will you dance, but do you? Are you one of those absolutely marvelous creatures that can tango, rumba and foxtrot? Do you find your hips swaying to a Latin beat that surprises you on a radio or TV moment? Do your boots scoot or your feet jive in barely suppressed joy at continued exposure to "that special beat?" Is salsa more than just something that comes with chips at your favorite restaurant? I wish I were one of you!

I have a secret yearning. My two left feet not withstanding, I have always wanted to learn to dance, really dance. To be able to be that graceful and elegant seems to be as unattainable as living on Mars or winning Florida in a national election. I admit to being a closet dancer. When the music is on and no one is present, I attempt to be graceful. I have been known to "shadow dance" with Ginger Rogers when Fred wasn't looking.

In a typical denial of that urge, I have looked askance at those more courageous than I or hooted in derision at the tuxedo-clad, slender manikins that inhabit the world of International Ballroom. And yet, those straight-backed, haughty practitioners who hold those exquisite gown-draped wonders in momentary ecstasy of movement and rhythm have, at times, been as appealing a role model as Howie Long or Kenny Stabler to me. To be able to dance ah, such sweet pain.

Imagine my horror to find that, clothed in the respectability of education, the art of ballroom dancing has been introduced into the course work of elementary, secondary and even college curriculum across the nation. Mere youth of 10 or 11 years of age stumble into the gracefulness and elegance I long for. Youngsters, who really should be glued to the computer or practicing their hook shot, are demanding that parents practice the tango with them in the living room. They are discovering the pleasure of elegance and that mystical moment when music, movement and rhythm transcend time, social position and financial gain to transport one to the steps of Olympus where the gods sit as spectators, nodding approval.

If the practice continues, I fear I may be more of an anachronism than I already am. I fear that the svelte and wondrous creatures that dance will take over. How will I then speak in lofty derision of the behavior of youth, when they have learned to respect others, to be courteous to those with whom they interact, and to find joy in the elegant? How will we then be as a nation? Will the world look at us as misguided if we ignore the radical inelegance that has taken over? Will they scoff at us when we again practice the courtesy inherent in this style of social interaction? Will we lose our place as leaders of the techno-babble, grunge-clad, reactionary driven inhabitants of our world? I hope so.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if, while refusing to ignore the other elements of our culture, we all learned to dance again? So what if we did tango or waltz the evening away? What difference would it make if we all just danced a little meringue at the water cooler or salsa'd our way to the mail room? Would it be so bad if we learned again to practice a little elegance in the way we worked?

Such radical ideas I have. I guess I will just go back to shadow dancing when no one is around. I expect it is all just a fad anyway. If I ignore it, it will fade as does the mist in the morning sun. But deep down, I probably will still look in wonder at those who dance and keep my eyes averted on the off chance that somewhere, at some unexpected moment, I might be asked to dance. What would I say then?


Nov. 23-24 Office closed for Thanksgiving Holiday.

Dec. 25-26 Office closed for Christmas Holiday.

Jan. 1 Office closed for New Year Holiday.

Jan. 6 Youth Basketball Clinic at Baker 9:00 a.m.

Jan. 13 First games for the basketball season

Holiday Lights Contest: We will again be judging and awarding a bit of the cool green for your holiday lights. I am hoping that we will be better able to take pictures of the winners for inclusion in the paper at a later date. The USD 348 newsletter outlines the areas in which we will award prizes. Help make our community a more picturesque place by doing your part. There's a hundred bucks in it to help pay for the electricity.

Monte the Dancing Bear it's a nick name, not a statement of fact. Baldwin City Recreation Commission; 820 High Street; Phone, 594-3670; e-mail,

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