Every time my extended family starts getting into something, I start taking interest in it, too. For example, a couple years ago my brother started a blog, and before long, we all jumped on the bandwagon. Singing was the same way. My dad started taking singing lessons years ago, and we all started singing around the house. Soon we were all singing in talent shows and anywhere we could.
Now it’s exercise. Everyone’s got a different kind, but we’re all exercising.
But I’m not sure most people understand mine.
Of course, if I wasn’t doing it, I’m sure I wouldn’t take it seriously either. Come to think of it, I don’t take it very serious now – one things for sure, it’s a good work out.
So what’s my exercise?
Line dancing! That’s right – the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Electric Slide, Macarena – you name it! Remember the good old days when it was actually kind of cool, say in jr. high, for example, to know all the moves when Cotton-Eyed Joe comes on? And remember how there were always those dorky kids that could never seem to get the moves down before the song was over? Yeah, see that was me.
Now, I’m like king of the… well… living room floor. I can flawlessly bust out the Tush Push, Macarena (we found a Spanish only version of the song), Achy-Breaky Heart, Celtic Slide, Electric Slide, Boot Scoot, Charleston, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Slappin’ Leather, and the newest addition, the Heian Shodan – which, I should add, is not actually a line dance, but a martial art exercise that works great with “Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting.” (I saw a random video of some guys doing it at a wedding dance, and knew I had to learn it for that very purpose) And those don’t include our original choreographed line dance for Foot Loose, and the improvised dances we do with The River Sings (Enya) and Fireflies. Actually, Jenni and I have been doing it together, and learning and coming up with dances together. With Fireflies, we tear up grocery bags into big long streamers and dance around swinging them everywhere trying to keep them from touching the ground. With the Enya one, we do a simple running around dance that’s simple enough for the kids to do with us.
My favorite, and the one that’s a horribly painful workout is the Charleston – though I’m not sure our Charleston is the real Charleston, since it doesn’t look like the one in the Youtube videos. Someone suggested it might be the Lindy Hop, but those videos looked as different as the Charleston, so I don’t know what our dance really is.
Anyway, I never realized how incredibly FUN line dances are! I always enjoyed them as a teenager, but I didn’t know how to do them. Of course, they didn’t have Youtube to teach you back then. Now you can learn aaaaannnnyyything on Youtube. Plus you can find all the tunes on Playlist.com.
So if you ever drive by our place on a random evening, and the lights are on, listen carefully, you might hear, “Heeeey, Macarena!”
All of our kids have mastered this dance by the age of two months. Sqeaker’s already got her percussion part down, too.
I would like to pay a special tribute at this time to a friend. He is hero of sorts. But the poor guy has one of the worst jobs in the world – he demonstrates all the horrendous things that could happen to the rest of us if we are not careful. He is the universal Stick Figure Guy. This guy is like a mix between Martin Short and Evel Knievel. Many adventures, but they NEVER go well for him.
You might have seen him around. He can be found around machinery, cleaning supplies, and just about anywhere where something can go wrong.
You might say he is always at the wrong place at the wrong time. If something goes wrong, he’s there – in fact, he’s in it. He’s the victim. Always.
Let’s look at some examples:
Somehow, Stick Figure Guy managed to… trip? For some reason he had his arms behind his back as he went down, too. I suppose the Continue reading A Tribute to Stick Figure Guy
My first dance was in the fifth grade, but I made sure not to dance with anyone. Me and another guy came up with a strategy to avoid dancing on the girls-choice dances, since we never would have asked anyone ourselves! It quickly became clear that wall-flowers usually ended up dancing with someone at some point, so as soon as the music started, we would walk around the middle of the dance floor as if headed somewhere.
Sometimes I’d dance in place for a moment if a teacher was near. Teachers were good at setting people up to get them to dance with someone. When the snowball dance started, we made sure to go get a drink and use the bathroom, taking a considerable amount of time getting back. Using these methods, I was able to make it through the dance without ever having to dance with a girl.
When I turned twelve, one of my first church youth activities was a youth dance. Using my sneaky method, I was able to avoid dancing with a girl for a while – until Sister Johnson, one of the young-women leaders caught on to what I was doing. While strolling about in the middle of the dance floor, weaving in and out of dancing couples, I suddenly walked right into Sister Johnson (obviously she had aligned her position). With a big smile, she said, “Chas, have you danced with anyone yet?”
I knew I was doomed, and gave in, saying, “Uh… no… not really.”
Then she grabbed the first laurel to walk by and said, “Dawn, would you like to dance with Chas?”
Of course, being a mature 16 year-old, she took pity on this poor little deacon. “I’d love to!”
Feeling like a mouse caught in a trap, I stood there as she put her hands on my shoulders. I was shocked. What was I supposed to do now? I stood there stupidly.
“Put your hands on my waist,” she instructed. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was supposed to actually dance with this girl! I’d seen the others dancing, so I guess I knew I was supposed to put my hands on her waist, but I couldn’t work up the courage to do it before the invitation came. I put my hands on her waist and we rocked back and forth slightly, turning gradually in circles. The song was already half over by the time we started dancing, but that second half of a song felt like the length of twenty songs.
When the song finally ended, she thanked me for the dance and I bolted. For the rest of the evening, I kept clear of that girl.
At home after the dance, mom told me how Dawn had come up to her and Dad after our dance and said, “Your son is so cute! I had to tell him to put his hands on my hips!”
Turning purple at the thought that Mom and Dad knew that I had danced with a girl, I wormed off to my room. Maybe next time I would slough the dance entirely.