Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Watching TV in the evenings, there is a very funny commercial for a car company, I think, with girls swatting and dodging a bee at a stoplight. The gist of it is the woman in the adjacent car thinks they are dancing to the music, when in reality a bee has invaded their space.
My first brush with dancing was in my parent’s basement in the early 60’s. A fellow named Chubby Checker had a dance called the twist. I would take my 45 down to the record player and twist to my heart’s content in the basement.
Not long after that we had the peppermint twist and the Pony and the skate and too many to remember. I like to call this the freestyle age of dance. You really didn’t have to know what you were doing, just look sure of yourself and have fun.
I watched American Bandstand and Hullabaloo and later Laugh In. In those days knees and backs co-operated with the requests made upon them without much protest.
Growing up and attending Gardner Junior High, and Gardner High School we had a semester of dance in our physical education program. We learned some square dance and thank goodness, that old stand by, the box step. We were allowed to wear our regular clothes, and we got to dance with real honest to goodness boys. The only problem with this was, the girls outnumbered the boys. So all of us at one point or another, danced with other girls.
To this day, a number of girls who learned to dance in PE class still want to lead. That dancing backwards to the music was really for the birds.
I do really enjoy watching Dancing With the Stars. I loved to watch ballroom dancing on Saturday afternoons as a kid. Those women were so graceful. They could do anything and make it look so easy. Juliet Prowse was a judge and would occasionally also dance. She was amazing.
Some of the contestants on DWTS are really quite good. Some dance the way I would if in the same situation. Terrible. Sad and terrible. But I do enjoy watching the good ones.
There is the old saying which goes, “dance like no one is watching.” Which brings me to some dancing that anyone can do? You have all probably done some of these dances without even realizing you were dancing. Maybe you just never named them?
Most of these happen outdoors, but once in a while can be done in the privacy of your home.
The first one is one I like to call, SPIDERWEB! This one starts with a low guttural noise from somewhere near your diaphragm, air is expelled loudly and robustly. Then right arm bent at elbow sweeps over your head, followed quickly by left arm same movement. Bob your head up and down and run hands through hair searching for anything alive. Repeat all actions until safety is satisfied. Go inside and rest.
The second one is called SOMETHING JUST FLEW AT MY FACE. Once again vocals are needed. The noise is more of an Acccckkkkkk. Right arm up and half way down back. Left arm up and down back. Both arms waist to knees on back of body. This is followed by jumping up and down and continuing with noise. Once again go inside when done and rest.
The third one is called I HAVE A BUG DOWN MY SHIRT, PANTS, WHATEVER.
Noise is optional but probably choice of dancer. Grab front of shirt with right hand, shake, shake, shake. Grab back of shirt with left hand, shake, shake, shake. Grab waist band of pants do the same. Add motion of hopping from right to left foot. This dance requires you to enter the nearest building and usually ends with shirt and or clothing being tossed on floor to be examined. Re dress and head back outside when you feel safe enough to do so.
So you see anyone can dance and probably at some time you have. I will never be a ballroom dancer, and my days of the Twist and the Pony are gone, but I can still do most of the bug dances and hopefully no one is watching.