Home » Travel Theme » TRAVEL THEME – DANCE



In my single digit years my dad worked as a jack-of-all-trades for a local church.  He would chauffeur the nuns and priests to appointments and help them with their shopping.  He passed the basket for collections and maintained the church building.  He was even the janitor at the catholic elementary school and kept law and order on the school bus, as he drove the uniformed kiddies to and fro.  I was always ready to join him whenever he had an errand to run for one of them, so on this one particular day, when the monseigneur requested his presence, I tagged along.   My mother argued that I had my first dance recital that evening, but dad, who had a propensity for disagreeing with mom, said he’d have me back in plenty of time.  He would not let his ballerina miss her first recital. When we arrived at the rectory, I asked my dad if I could play outside.  As the monseigneur was waiting at the door, my father waved me off and away I ran.

dance 4

The church parking lot was empty, and I remember running and skipping between the white lines meant for giant Oldsmobiles and big black Cadillacs.  I spinned and twirled and danced, while I hummed tunes that I knew I would be dancing to that very evening.  I hadn’t been whirling for very long before I heard my name being called.

dance 5

Directly across the street from the church lot lived a friend of mine, and when I saw her I was overcome with excitement.  She would be joining me at the recital that night, and my first thought was, “Perfect! We can practice together.”

dance 2

Waving frantically, I broke into a run, heading toward the steps that lead to the sidewalk.  The joy of getting to practice the one thing I loved most with a friend that shared that passion as well, had me on cloud 9 and I could barely contain my enthusiasm.

dance 3

Blinded by the excitement, I never noticed the steps in front of me.  In an instant, I was tumbling down the stairs and sliding, face first on the concrete, like Utley stealing second.  I remember screaming, and the rest is a blur.   I don’t know how much later, but I found myself cradled in my dad’s arms.  There was blood on his shirt and there were tears in his eyes.  At home, my mom tended to my wounds, while dad sat motionless in a kitchen chair, head in his hands.  I had bruises on my cheeks and my hands had been unmercifully scraped.  I remember crying, not sobbing uncontrollably or wailing, just softly crying.  I told my mom she had to hurry because we would be late for the recital.  I suppose I might have been in shock or something similar because I didn’t realize how badly I’d been bruised.  A tear dropped from my mother’s eye  as she gently cleansed my knees.  They were cut so badly that walking wasn’t even an option, let alone dancing.  At least not that day.

I never danced anymore that I could recall, I don’t know why.  I hate to think that I gave up, but that was a long time ago, and I just don’t remember.  I asked my mom today, but she didn’t remember why I never went back to dancing school.   It’s all good, though. I guess I wasn’t meant to be a ballerina, but I went on to do so many other things that have made me dance.  Maybe not like a ballerina, but in my heart.dance 1

Join me and others over at  Ailsa’s blog and come see all the dancing going on over there.  Just click here.

Many thanks to Ailsa for hosting and to you all for visting. 🙂

33 thoughts on “TRAVEL THEME – DANCE

  1. Awww…. what a lovely story. Poor little dancer you. 😥 And your poor Dad. I’m sure he felt awful, too. Funny how little things can alter a life. If you had continued to dance, it meant you wouldn’t have had time to do something else ….. and so on.

  2. you tapped into a touching story, and i was there by your side, skipping and oh so very happy about the dance! my fear was that you were about to dash into the path of a car, so i am relieved that you ‘only’ skidded down the steps on your lovely young face! of course your parents cried!

    how tragic that you were robbed of the joy of dance after that fateful fall! if you ever find your way to Latin America, we’re going to see if we can coax you into a salsa two three four…

    thanks for sharing this story with us.


  3. Gemma … 😦 what a story you tell .. little ballerina
    I’m sure you enjoy a twirl and a dance nowadays ! Just kick those legs High . Higher ….
    Love the way you have set out your photos there 🙂

  4. OMG. How did I not know this story?? It’s so joyous and so sad and so joyous. You got a lot closer to being a ballerina than I did, but thankfully, we both ended up pretty joyous.

  5. Such a difficult moment for you – but, oh, my heart really breaks for your poor Dad! I suppose if you had really felt you were meant to be a dancer, nothing would have stopped you – but what a bittersweet story! Glad your knees and heart are mended, and that you’re able to dance when the spirit moves you now – thanks for sharing this! 😉

  6. Wonderfully told, however bittersweet. And illustrated.
    I think many people, no, girls now women, have a dance story.
    Mine is that I got scarlatina (a mild form of scarlet fever so-called back in the day) and my mother decided I’d caught it in ballet class, and she wouldn’t send me back.
    Ballet slippers, especially worn ones, are still powerful iconic symbols for me — and for you!

  7. Pingback: Dance as an expression | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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