Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hold Me Close Old Large Dancer...

Originally posted December 29, 2009...

Hello Friends,

It’s been awhile since my last post, but Christmas chuffah and the continual growing of my hair has kept me pretty busy.  An update on past Dreams: none have been realized.  Oprah is still on the fence about my appearance, The Hangover is flying off the shelves, I’m lying like a prostitute in church, and I’ve gotten no famous readership from this blog (Gunderson doesn’t count, but she’s well on her way), and as such, no wealth.   But I will not be discouraged!   They say even a broken clock is right twice a day, so surely one of these dreams will come true at some point.  Which brings me to today’s Dream.

Dream: To become a famous and celebrated dancer.

Goal: Achievable, in time.

Plan: Learn to dance.

I have the awesome privilege of finally being in a show that I myself would pay to see.  It is a musical, High Fidelity, and it requires some dancing.  Fortunately, there was no dance call at the audition, so I was lucky enough to score a small part.  I cannot, in no measure or context, dance.  The only “move” I do in bars is to slowly bob my head as if hearing music for the first time in my life.  I’m also sure to hold a drink in my hand as if to suggest to onlookers, “Well, I would be really cutting a rug here, but this vodka tonic is weighing me down.”

We had a dance component in university, which they were kind enough to call Movement (which is also condescending, if you think about it.  Failing something called Movement is like flunking out of Breathing).  Teachers kindly kept me at the back of the class where I frowned at my feet three times a week.  I didn’t fail, but certainly didn’t pass with flying colours.  Although, one particular tap midterm (consisting, I believe, of shuffles and chugs) got me a 76, the evaluation from which is still affixed to the fridge in my parents’ house.  I’ve just never been able to make my feet do what my brain insists upon.  The choreography for High Fidelity is very simple, children have mastered more in a recess, but I flail about like a mental patient during free time.

Ironically, I’ve always really admired, respected, and emulated dancing and dancers.  I remember in second and third grade joining the school’s folk dancing troupe, which I believed featured a Gloria Estefan song and some orange streamer work (this really should have tipped my parents off to my homosexuality, by the way).  In sixth grade I was the only boy in what I think was called The Remembrance Day Dance, which somehow honored our veterans with little twirls (at this point, I could have been rolling around with men on the kitchen table and been less obvious).  And yet, and  yet, no ability emerged whatsoever.  Dancers possess this amazing discipline, it is amazing to watch them work.  They are not like actors, who can fake their way through an entire show undetected by most of the audience, but when a dancer is out of step, that is simply that.  Everything is controlled and executed with absolute precision; it’s so admirable.

My friend David is an amazing dancer.  He moves with such grace and fluidity that I expect he twirls an umbrella when he walks down the street and does little heel clicks when he turns off into the horizon.  I’ve done three shows with him now and it appears he absorbs choreo literally in an instant.  Jonelle is like that too.  We’ve never been in a dancing show together, but she’s obviously got the training.  I remember watching her onstage once where she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, brought her shoulders back and head forward, conveying about ten lines worth of dialogue without opening her mouth, which I thought was pretty cool.

Anyway, all is not lost for me, if I practice, practice, practice.  I read that Adam Shankman, the guy who choreographed and directed the Hairspray movie, didn’t start dancing until he was eighteen!  That means, if I start dancing now, I will have a career trajectory approximately eight years behind Adam Shankman’s.  Plus, the benefits of dancing are twofold.  One, I will have better sex, because they say the two are linked, and two, I will fall down less when I walk around.  Plus, in a way, I’m already halfway to my goal, because I have created a piece of choreography so useful and sexy that it will surely be in every music video and flash mob for the next five years.  The move is this: Stand with your legs together, slightly bent at the knee.  Now take your right hand, place it on your knee, and “pick up” your leg so you are now standing bow-legged with your feet apart as if to unveil your genitals.  I came up this move in the summer of 2006 and it is called “The Rusty Gate.”  Watch for it.

Unlike the Dreams where I become exceedingly wealthy, or meet Oprah, I suspect this one will take a little work.  So don’t mind me, Friends, if I seem preoccupied with my drink, next time you spot me in a bar.  I’m planning, surely.  Waiting for just the right moment to bust a move, and impress you all.

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