Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dancing on Daddy's Feet

I heard a song on the radio yesterday that transported me back to my elementary school days. "The Alley Cat Song" was my first attempt at learning dance steps. My mother used to do it with us at home, which now that I think about it, was a pretty amazing thing! All five of us learned it and I'm pretty sure my baby sister was the best at the "meow."

I'm not naturally coordinated. Dancing was something I dreamed about but could never do well. I seemed to be able to learn steps in isolation, but when it came time to put them together in a sequence that didn't appear stiff, but fluid, I just couldn't do it.

I took ballet and tap lessons beginning at age 5. It didn't last long though. Then later when I was in high school I auditioned for a singing ensemble that included a lot of choreography. So I took dance lessons again - this time ballet and jazz. It helped me appear to the audience less a mannequin, and more of a live person!

The dance floor has always intimidated me. Even at our wedding, when we did our first dance as husband and wife, I hated (1) that I couldn't really do more that that slow sway of a dance, and (2) that all eyes were on me!

But then I watch as my 4 year old niece wiggles and jiggles all parts of herself to the tune of Mama Mia! I watched as my 14 year old son, subdued his unusually long arms and legs when he learned the waltz on the cruise we took. And I watched my parents, when my mother had lost most of her hair during chemotherapy and whose body spoke a whisper of her former self, glide across the living room floor on this, her last dance.

I guess it takes more than knowing the right steps. I think it takes a willingness to be humiliated too. Does it really matter if I'm as graceful as Ginger Rogers or as frightenly spastic as 'Elaine' from the comedy series 'Seinfeld'? Even King David shed his inhibition (literally) when he danced before the Lord.

I'm learning that I don't have to know all the steps or dress the part or be able to dance in the spotlight like a prima ballerina. I just have to be willing to dance on my Daddy's feet and let Him lead. This way I don't have to worry when I think everyone is watching my stumbling steps, when in reality what they see are His graceful moves.

What does it take to get you out on the dance floor?