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It's Just Like Being a Rockette


On the tennis court at Mom’s senior community I was asked if I’d like to do a line dance at the Christmas party dinner in the clubhouse. I had been to parties there in the past where large groups would get up and do the electric slide or some other line dance. “Sure” I mistakenly said. “But I don’t know any line dances. You’ll have to teach me.” The next day two women in their 70s knocked on the door and invited me to learn a dance in the driveway. It wasn’t a line dance. They called it a twinkle dance. They said we’d be doing it to the song Silver Bells, on stage in front of everyone at the dinner, and that there would be 6 of us. Not exactly what I thought I was saying yes to. As we continued to rehearse our twinkling in the driveway, a succession of golf carts rolled by with some people clapping. At the dinner, the big announcement was made, we got on stage, the song started in the middle and we sprang into action. Right away I knew we weren’t in sync. Sue was kicking while I was grapevining. When I turned to the left I got slapped by Sandy’s jazz hands. Polite applause ended before we could get off the stage.


The next day I got an email from the woman who’d organized the twinkle. It said, “We’re meeting tomorrow at 12:00 in the clubhouse to go over our dance for an anniversary party in January”. And I thought, ‘have I just been roped into something?’


We arrived at the mobile home of Buzz Callahan and his wife Pam. Without prompting, we pushed aside their coffee table, spread out like the June Taylor dancers, and began to waltz. Not with each other. Each of us waltzed with the air as our partner. It was uncomfortable and everyone in the room was looking at their shoes. Except me. I was smiling, scanning the room as I spun, and noticing that Pam had a thing for dolphin art.


People who I don’t know now wave to me in the park.


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