Linda Stamper Boyne: Oh, I could have been
Vail, CO, Colorado
I think I’ve missed my calling. I should have been a dancer. Yeah, I know. There are actually people out there right now in readership land laughing out loud.
Laugh if you will, but I should have done it! Maybe it’s not too late. Maybe there’s still a chance.
How many of us, as we start adding on the years, have wanted to go back and walk the road not taken? I know I’m not alone in wanting to relive my youth. I still think there’s an opportunity out there.
Oh, I can hear you all: “You’re a little old to become a dancer now.” I’m past my prime as far as professional dancing goes. I know that. And the fact that I’ve missed out on a few critical years of training might be problematic. I’m not sure any mentor would take me on at this point, especially considering they were probably in preschool during my peak dancer years.
Sure, there’s that whole missing the natural talent part. Then of course there’s the problem of my occasional and unexpected klutziness. I can be completely coordinated, on the verge of graceful even, and then just lose all composure. Something tells me that’s not cool in the dance world, unless I’m doing some sort of modern, interpretive style.
This longing to dance happens to me every year with the finale of my favorite guilty pleasure, “Dancing With The Stars.” Man, I just love that show.
All season I watch with a burning desire to be one of the dancers. The flash, the movement, the costumes, the music, the determination, the spray-on tans. It’s all just fabulous. Oh, to be a dancer!
Then on Friday, an opportunity presented itself. I was at my sons’ school watching my older son and the 63 other fifth- and sixth-graders dancing all the various ballroom dances that they had learned over the past eight weeks under the guidance of the amazing Colin Meiring. All trimester they had been learning about etiquette and the social graces, including how to dance. It was basically boot camp Cotillion 101.
And as fate would have it, the boys outnumbered the girls, so they needed additional female dance partners. Oh, joy! I got to step in for a song and dance with my son.
It was a foxtrot, which I didn’t know, so Little Man had to teach me. As we “step, step, side step and together”-ed around the room, I told him it didn’t feel like we were quite dancing with the beat.
He said, “You don’t really need to. It doesn’t matter.” I guess we were just dancing to the beat of our own drummer. When I said I seemed to be watching my feet and I was impressed he wasn’t, he laughed and said he didn’t have to see what he was doing. The sign of a true dancer!
It occurred to me as we were dancing that perhaps the next time I get to dance like this with my Little Man would be at his wedding.
Tears actually started forming in my eyes, which I quickly got under control so as not to further embarrass him. I was thrilled and moved beyond belief by this simple little moment in time.
And it made me want to dance all the more.
Later in the day, I remembered hearing something about a fundraising event for The Youth Foundation that had a format similar to “Dancing With The Stars.”
I found my way to The Youth Foundation’s sight and discovered that they are indeed sponsoring the Star Dancing Gala on Aug. 18. Could this be my opportunity? Because, let’s be realistic, my chances of becoming a C-list celebrity and then being chosen to go on the network show are pretty slim. Sadly, I discovered the stars or in this case, the “notable locals,” have already been chosen and paired with their professionals.
I’m not giving up on my dream, though. I don’t know if writing this weekly(-ish) column, makes me notable enough to help The Youth Foundation raise money to fund their amazing programs for Eagle County kids. Perhaps my enthusiasm could make up the difference.
So I’m making the call first thing tomorrow to offer myself up as a last-minute substitute should someone have to go on the injured reserve list. Keep your fingers crossed.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards writes weekly for the Vail Daily. She can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org