Saturday, 3 August 2013


The dance floor.         

Perhaps not technically a dance floor. Miss Lame’s dance floor.
I.e.  The kitchen, my classroom, on the “pavement” (side-walk), in the streets, on and under tables…
Perhaps a list of places I would NOT dance would make this easier…  On a cliff edge where I might fall to my death? In a game of graveyard, when the “gravekeeper” is looking at me?  

In this particular dancy moment my dance floor was a corner in a moderately busy bar in North-East London. A space large enough to flail and dance without knocking or bothering the crowd of non-dancing, drinking and chatting young professionals and hipsters. In mid-spin, I catch myself in a state of complete and utter elation. It’s a surprise saliva isn’t seeping from the corners of my mouth with my face frozen as it was. Mouth wide open- a gigantic water melon smile.

My body moves, with the music, with its own way. Sensations of that instant are absorbed fully, yet not consciously articulated. In this pure moment, the external sound, the light and surrounding bodies meld and coexist with my internal- my heart beat, my sensory-motor impulses. Movements originate from my twisting, popping core and transfer to my windmill arms and legs zigzagging and wobbling in time.

Watermelon smile.

Ironically, as I realise this high point, this pure state of mind, I am brought back to a conscious place in which I am able to reflect on my actions, surrounds, past and present. I gleefully accept that a few seconds ago I was 100% absorbed in that particular period in time.
Coming to this conscious place, reflecting, my hippocampus starts dancing and I am suddenly launched into my past.

A cherished memory emerges.
My watermelon smile broadens into a genetically modified, super melon.

Dance. Miss Lame’s favourite form of movement. Since I can remember.

I remember:
The dress. Off-white, t-shirt length sleeves, a sort of linen type material. The skirt was crinkled and pleated long-ways past my knees and down to my mid-calf. The top part had the same off-white material with sewed on floral pattern. This dress. For a very special occasion. My first wedding. I was 7.

My hopes. I envisioned an expansive, classic dance floor. I had my ideas about what a wedding should look like and my expectations of the dance floor were high. Walt Disney is to blame. I imagined, other kids my age who would dance with me too. Even at age 7, I imagine a sweet boy asking me to dance.

My Grandpa Bob was getting married.

When grandparents get married, the dance floor is less expansive, and the crowd less mobile and youthful.

The reception was hosted at my Grandfather’s favourite watering hole in North Bay Ontario, The Legion. I remember, a larger room, dimmer lighting, in the lower level of a building. What one might imagine a Northern Ontario legion to look like… The wedding participant composition- Not children. With the exception of my siblings and I and our cousin Nick. No seven year old hotties to share in a dance with. I was NOT going to find romance at this wedding, however, there was a dance floor and I found it. Quickly. It was the space beside the tables and bar. Parquet floor. A good size- This pleased me. My 7 year old imagination built in the bits of romance that lacked about the space. I quickly got over my expectations. Dance became the sole priority.

My first memory of all-out Miss Lame dance and appreciation:

A hazy recollection my Aunt Vicci in her gold accented outfit. She loves gold. Some elderly participants cutting up the dance floor around me and my siblings, while we wriggled with all our might.

The cherished memory.

I remember my Dad jumping out of his chair that bordered the parquet dance floor. I remember facing him. I remember watching intently as his feet shift across the floor in a zig-zag pattern, as his whole body progressively drops, lower and lower with each zag.


Mini-miss Lame is blown away.  I remember absolute inspiration.

A dance with my Dad. This memory has stuck with me through life. In hibernation until this moment in the bar corner in North-East London.  

As I danced with no restraint, as an “adult”, I reflect on this memory, I recognize the underlying foundation of my dance style. THE TWIST. 
So many zig-zags- Some simple, the basic TWIST. Some with fancy lame modifications.

This shared moment with my Dad informed my future dancing style, yes, but it is more than that. This cherished memory embodies my Dad’s unconditional love and spirit. 
The form through which he displayed this. Through movement.

He was there.

I remember the booming Bruce voice that strained and hollered in shear excitement (where I suspect my volume control issues stem from) during times of intensity on the soccer field and as I dug my edges into the snow and swooshed under that gate, racing for the finish. The authentic, lame-with-no-shame leap for joy when goals were scored or I bombed through the finish line, the best time beat.

He was there.

Movement. Understanding my capacity. My power and influence. The dedication to others- the team, and most importantly, to self.
Understanding my capacity to advance and evolve- physical, intellectual, social and emotional.

On the parquet dance floor in the legion in North Bay Ontario, this moment of shared movement, I remember I can see and feel that he is my Dad and he loves me. No shame, his whole heart. We move together. Mini Miss Lame and big Bruce Lame.

This moment told me this and this is why it has stayed with me.

What cherished memories has stuck with you? Why? What moves you?

No comments:

Post a Comment