My older sister was born with her knees slightly turned in. My parents figured she was going to be their little ballerina and went through simple procedures to fix this with a helpful whatchamagadget placed between her baby legs while she slept. I too, was born with my knees slightly askew. Figuring I wasn’t going to be their little ballerino, and there was no need for the whatchamagadget, they had came to the conlcusion that their son simply had beautiful turn in. Guess what Mom and Dad, I’m in West Side Story.
I just don’t do any of this…
I was born the second oldest of four siblings. An older sister and two younger brothers. Like most little girls, my sister grew up dancing, so that meant I grew up, watching. Dancing was her life. My universe however? Soccer and Ninja Turtles. The daily half hour road trips to the dance studio, from Irvine to Santa Ana, which in my world at the time might has well have been Mexico, had finally got to me. Me and my Turtle friends were melting in that mini-van waiting for my sister to finish up her dance class, so a decision had to be made. Melt or dance. Of course I could’ve easily just gone inside and watched in the air conditioned lobby again, but this makes for a better excuse.
After swallowing what pride I had at the age of 8, I joined a jazz dance class at the same studio as my sister. I was one of two guys surrounded by dancing girls in training bras. An 8 year olds dream right? Dressed in paint stained white overalls, busting out the “Running Man” to the 90’s hit, “Everybody Dance Now” I was feeling pretty, prettayyy, cool. This was until my mother informed me of the “recital”. That word meant nothing to me at the time, until I quickly learned it translated to something along the lines of, dancing, on stage, in front of an audience. Next thing I know i’ve locked myself in our downstairs bathroom and refused to come out. I had missed my recital. Dodged the embarrassment bullet. No one was going to have to see me dance. I was home free.
Sixteen years later…
Here I am, in the most notably choreographed musical of all time. Surrounded by the most talented dancers i’ve ever seen (besides the ones on, So You Think You Can Dance), but we even have one of those guys in our cast. I am in awe of these people. Impressed daily and absolutely blown away by what their bodies are capable of. Meanwhile, i’m asked to do a single spin, turn, thing that technically sounds more like an Italian dish than a dance move, and a simple Cha-Cha every night, but that alone makes me crap in my movers belt.
I’ll never be a dancer, and Im okay with that. Nor will I ever be considered a “triple threat”, but I have good hair. I don’t regret the day I locked myself in the bathroom. I’m happy where I am. Its worked out okay for me. In the meantime i’ll continue to make a fool of myself on the dance floor knowing that Fosse would’ve at least appreciated my beautiful turn in.