Fine. After much harassment, here it is. And Absent took all the fun out of it. Where's the anticipation? Sigh.
I am a ballroom dancer. It makes me happy and brings me joy.
I took my first ballroom class winter semester my freshman year. I took it because El Capitan (you'll hear more about him if we get to S) took Dance 180 fall semester and was, consequently, quite popular with the ladyfolk. Dance 180 did not make me popular with the ladyfolk. (Though rumors about other talents I had did manage to get around the ward.) After my mission, I took 280. I auditioned for the ballroom company, but that was the semester where they only had openings for five men; I wasn't one of them.
So I put my ballroom aspirations on the shelf. Until spring term. One of the girls in my ward who was too good to talk to me while we were in 280 together dropped by my apartment to convince me to audition for the spring team. They were desperate for men, and if she brought a boy, they'd put her on the team. (She brought two, and they still didn't put her on the team until she threw a fit, at which point they made her an alternate.)
And thus it began.
Suddenly, I was all about the ballroom. I took 185. Then in fall I took 380 and 184. I auditioned for the team. This team they took everyone but three men. The next year, they moved me up to the advanced team. (Well, that was a couple days into the semester, but still, I advanced.) The next semester they moved me up to back-up tour. That was cool. Unfortunately, they didn't move me up at the beginning of the next year. Still, I worked my tail off. I was the ideal team member. But, hey, ballroom rocks, so it was totally worth it.
That was the start of my second senior year. Because real life was scary, I decided to apply to grad school. Well, really, I applied to grad school because tour team would be going to China the next year and I was certain that I was on the verge of moving up. I got into grad school; I didn't make the team. That made me quite ornery, even if it did lead to some great tango rehearsals.
I continued to work though. And the following semester, I got a set of chopsticks. Apparently someone dropped the team because his wife couldn't go to China with them. Sucks to be him.
I toured with the ballroom company on three tours: Southeast Asia, Blackpool/Scandinavia, Eastern States. The ballroom company is good for your passport. To be more specific:
- China (I celebrated my 26th birthday in Xi'an.)
- Denmark (I learned enough Danish to bear my testimony during my talk at a fireside there.)
- Hong Kong (Never start a tour with ballroom girls in Hong Kong--too many designer knockoffs at rock-bottom prices.)
- South Korea (Me + Kimshi = So not friends.)
- Mongolia (Looks just like Wyoming. Love it.)
- Russia (Night train in Russia . . . how cool is that?)
- England (Keeping the title of British Formation Champions.)
- Norway (Prettiest. Country. On. The. Planet.)
- Sweden (I've eaten Swedish fish in Sweden. They're pretty much the same.)
- Mexico (Doesn't really count since we just walked across the border while performing in El Paso.)
It even helps your states checklist.
- Kansas (We were even protested by the illustrious Rev. Phelps.)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
- Wyoming (Got to perform for the home crowd.)
Because of my affiliation with the ballroom company, I even got to perform in the 2002 Winter Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies. I even got three seconds of national television exposure while I was a "pioneer" looking around the Salt Lake valley in awe with my little daughter riding on my shoulders.
Anyway, the moral of the story is Ballroom dance is cool and you should do it.
This post has been brought to you by Dolly Parton and Jacques Derrida. Just as I was raised on John Denver, Neil Diamond, and ABBA, I was also raised with a healthy dose of Dolly. Though, admittedly, the exposure from my youth I most remember is her filmwork. You know . . . Nine to Five and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. And one must never forget Steel Magnolias. And, to top it off, she was nominated today for an Oscar for Original Song for "Travelin' Thru" from Transamerica.
Unfortunately, I don't know a lot of authors who are eligible to sponsor this post. So I went with Derrida just because he reminds me of my theory course for my Master's wherein we spent the entire class discussing Deconstruction. For the record, when done right, I think Deconstruction is pretty cool. But only when done right.
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