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The Gift of Dance

Researching and writing about the men of the 384th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force during WWII has become my favorite hobby.  But on this Christmas Eve, I’m going to take a break from my dad’s WWII story.  It will resume again next week.

For the past couple of years, my other favorite hobby has been line dancing.  I live in an “active adult” community where dancing is one of the most popular activities.  I have two instructors who are very passionate about sharing their love of line dancing with other residents who want to learn.

Jeri became the community’s first resident line dance instructor about seven years ago.  Her husband, Gerry (yes, Jeri and Gerry), manages the music and sound system.  Amy started out as a student and became an instructor herself.  Jeri teaches the beginner and low intermediate dancers, while Amy teaches the intermediate and advanced students.  I wrote a little poem for them this year for Christmas.  I shared it with them and about 140 fellow line dancers at our annual Christmas party this year.  Now I’d like to share it with you.

“The Gift of Dance”
Cindy Farrar Bryan

‘Twas just before Christmas, when all through the ballroom,
The music was playing, Amy upping the volume.

Line dancers gathered at once on the floor,
While other arrivals streamed in the door.

I thought back of my choices in my Stone Creek start,
Deciding between bocce, dance, cards, or art.

My first dance class at Stone Creek was two years ago,
I loved the commercials and, even more, loved the show.

Mr. Gerry had the sound and music all set,
He had everything perfect, on that you could bet.

Jeri said “You don’t need a partner, just make a line,
And I’ll show you your first step, a simple grapevine.”

A few steps more and that was the Electric Slide,
I felt almost giddy with the way I could glide.

Then came coaster steps, jazz boxes, and twinkles,
With crossed legs, Jeri said “They’re twinkles, not tinkles.”

Then I learned a rhumba box is a square,
And line dancers don’t sit in their rocking chairs.

I was learning to dance, I could hardly believe,
And then Jeri tried to teach me to weave.

I eventually got that step and more,
And began to wonder what else was in store.

For a line dancer like me, hungry to learn,
It was Amy’s class where I learned how to turn, and turn, and turn.

Turning and kicking and shaking her hips,
Amy’s moves are like watching a total eclipse.

Filling my brain with too many steps,
Amy’s dances left me confused and perplexed.

Practice, and practice, and practice again,
I’m not learning one dance today, I’m learning ten.

The music’s familiar, I know one part,
I love that dance. How does it start?

Santa’s reindeer are Donner, Vixen, Dasher and Prancer,
Blitzen, Comet and Cupid and, my favorite, Line Dancer.

The night before Christmas, our gifts they will bring,
New dance shoes, potato chips, M&M’s, and some bling.

I think of line dancing for the last time this year,
And silently have to hold back a tear.

I can’t wait for January, but while I have the chance,
I say “Thank you, Jeri and Amy, for the gift of dance.”

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

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