Jerry Zezima: The dunce dance
If I was in a dance competition, I would never feel the thrill of victory, but I would definitely experience the agony of the feet.
Unless, of course, the judge took pity on me.
This is exactly what happened when I found myself in a dance with my granddaughters Chloe and Lilly.
The girls, who are 8 and 5 respectively, are real pros compared to me, a geezer with the smooth movements and whimsical footwork of a drunken platypus. Forget about hip-hop. My specialty would be hip-replacement-hop.
It was sadly evident when Chloe and Lilly challenged me to a dance performance in which I almost needed CPR (Clumsy Poppie Resuscitation).
The judge was my wife, Sue, who wisely ditched this one.
It was the culmination of a wonderful day that started when the girls were in a recital sponsored by Inspire Dance Center, where they were taking classes.
Last summer they were in an outdoor show at a vineyard, where Sue and I toasted the dancing stars with glasses of vintage grapes. This time the Winter Showcase took place in a roller skating rink.
And the girls were, indeed, on a roll, even though they wore dancing shoes instead of skates. They were each in one routine in the 20 dance program, but they performed so well, IMHO and completely impartial, that if they were on “Dancing with the Stars” Judge Len Goodman would have given them marks. perfect.
I certainly did when Lilly stole the show in a “Cinderella” dance and Chloe did the same in a routine performed to Meghan Trainor’s song “Better When I’m Dancin ‘”.
When Lilly went out with the other girls in her group, she was standing in the front row, to the right of the stage, although to me it looked like the left of the stage, which is one of the many reasons, including the main thing is a complete lack of performing talent, why I’m not on Broadway.
As the music played, Lilly moved her arms in a wavy motion, then swayed to the beat, raised her hands above her head, sang a line from the song, did a pirouette, s’ moved back, turned clockwise, and walked out with the others. She was the last and received a huge standing ovation.
“It was adorable!” exclaimed Sue.
Of course, I accepted.
We had the same reaction for the next issue, which featured Chloe. It was an upbeat performance in which she and the other girls in her group danced, prance and cheered. Chloe had perfect timing. At the end of the song, she and her fellow dancers knelt down in the front of the stage and received a round of applause. The loudest ovation was, of course, for Chloe.
At the end of the show, our daughter Lauren and our son-in-law Guillaume, the parents of the girls, were beaming with pride through the masks that everyone had to wear.
Sue and I gave flowers to Chloe and Lilly.
“They feel!” Lilly said.
“That might not stop her from eating them,” Lauren remarked, noting that Lilly has a big appetite for such a little girl. Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” could have been written about him.
Back at Lauren and Guillaume’s, Chloe and Lilly challenged me to dance.
“Nini,” Chloe said to Sue, “you can be the judge.”
Lilly started playing “Gold Digger,” a Billboard hit by Ye, the artist formerly known as Kayne West.
We all started jumping all over the place. Chloe and Lilly did the pear tree. I waved my hands, tapped my foot, and almost tipped over.
“Freeze!” Lilly screamed as she turned off the song.
Sue deliberated for a moment and announced, “Lilly wins.”
When the song resumed, the girls went into even bigger gyrations. I gasped as I tried to mimic their movements.
“Freeze!” Lilly cried.
The song stopped and Sue said, “Chloe wins.”
But the third time, it was the charm. I danced until a storm, putting my right index finger on top of my head and spinning like a top.
It was, quite literally, a dizzying performance that not only impressed the judge, but had him in the stitches.
“Poppie wins,” Sue said.
I could tell she felt sorry for me, but for a man with two left feet, which made it difficult to buy shoes, it made a great day even better.
I didn’t have any flowers, like Chloe and Lilly, but I felt like a dance star.
“Thanks,” I say to Sue. “You are a much better judge than Len Goodman. “
Jerry Zezima writes a humorous column for Tribune News Service and is the author of five books. Email: [email protected] Blog: jerryzezima.blogspot.com.