Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Hands Club

Let's discuss my seemingly endless talent some more.

You probably already know that I'm an expert at The Sprinkler. However, you probably don't know the story of how I honed those mad skills.

Like most little girls, I took dance lessons. I started with ballet, then added tap classes, and eventually I progressed to...jazz. We spent a couple of hours in a second-floor mirrored studio with no air conditioning, practicing to craptastic 70s piano tunes on Mrs. Klagges' busted old record player.

I would typically be wearing something very similar to exactly like this, stirrups and all:

I can assure you, however, that I never did a standing split inside a tree trunk while I was wearing said get-up.

The shoes weren't much better. These are jazz shoes:

And these are tap shoes:

But around age 10, we graduated to high-heeled tap shoes. Which was soooo bad ass. Also, that's the reason I can totally walk so sexy-like in heels now.

Really the best thing about dance class was the location of the dance studio. It was right next door to an old-school candy store. Because I was blessed with my darling little sister, I would "get" to wait around for an hour before my class. Which basically meant that I spent an hour stuffing my face with Sour Patch Kids, Fireballs, Tootsie Rolls, Candy Cigarettes, and anything else that cost less than a dime.

All this tough practice led up to the annual recital, which was, of course, a major deal in Culpeper. It was always held in the high school auditorium (no need to specify, just one in the entire county at the time), which was super exciting for a fifth grader in a unitard and braces.

We wore makeup and itchy sparkly outfits with tutus and chokers:

Mrs. Klagges picked all the music. And let me tell you, it was almost never fair. For example, in 1989, my sister's class danced to this:

We danced to this:

But even though we got screwed with such a lame song, I got a solo. I got to arabesque (or something) myself all over the center stage. I was such a total prima ballerina, bitches.

After the show, my entire family informed me that I had some weird epileptic flutter-finger hands thing going on. Sure enough, upon inspection of the video footage, I took Mrs. Klagges' "soft ballet hands" instructions about 17 steps too far. I don't know what was going on, but those things were twirling and whirling like they were about to detach and take off. It was like I had a baton...but not.

So I quit dance classes after that. Stupid uncontrollably flailing hands.


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