File This Under Who Knew


Over at Breed ’em and Weep (see “Blogs I read” at right), Jenn posted a link to a video of prison mates in the Philippines dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I’m not kidding. Go check it out.

The weird thing is, watching the video made me nostalgic for college. I know it’s weird but just give me a chance to explain…

Most of you probably don’t know this about me, but my favorite thing about being in a sorority in college (yup, it’s true) was the dancing. I don’t mean Shaking My Groove Thing at fraternity parties, although there was plenty of that. I mean coming up with, rehearsing, and then performing choreographed group dances. Each pledge class had its own dance of course (except mine — there were only four of us and we just got absorbed by the pledge class in front of us), but the best dances were the ones we made up for Spring Rush, when hundreds of girls would come through our front doors and see if they liked us and we liked them.

My favorite one was to Britney Spears’s “Crazy.” I wasn’t officially “in” that dance but I learned all the moves nonetheless and practiced them all the time in my dorm room. It was a single. No one ever saw me do it except when the whole gang would perform at aforementioned frat parties. But I still know it, at least most of it, and occasionally dust it off and try it out here in the basement.

My choreographed dance background well pre-dates college, though. One of my favorite pastimes from childhood was making up dances with my cousin Monica and performing them in the family room for our adoring fans (read: parents). One particularly excellent dance was set to the Beach Boys’s “Wipeout.” We also had a great little dance for The Monkees’s “I’m a Believer.” We used the fireplace hearth as a little stage but then ended up dancing like dervishes throughout the whole room. Once my sister was old enough to join, she spiced up our routines by repeatedly dropping effortlessly from standing into a full middle split.

She was a bendy child.

Having a son has forced me to rethink, a bit, the dancing thing. I always pictured parenting as this thing where you do a lot of housework and driving and then help your kids make up dances. Maybe Evan will be into Shaking His Bum, and if he is then more power to him, but I suspect that I’m going to need to expand my repertoire. Fort building, perhaps? Luckily, I have experience in that arena. And I was one Damned Good Lego Player. Certainly that’s something I can pass onto my kid.


3 Responses to “File This Under Who Knew”

  1. 1 Christina

    Boys can be good dancers, too – he may inherit your love of the dance.

    I used to do choreographed dances as a kid, too. Now I just love to watch Bollywood movies to see exotic choreographed Indian dances. Have you ever watched Bollywood movies?

  2. 2 Emily

    Oh, babe. I have 2 boys (3 and 1 year old) and I can tell you, those dudes love to groove. When I pull out that pink CD, the older one lights up and says “Priscilla,” before we all get down to “I Will Survive.”

  3. 3 Julie

    Thanks, Emily, for this reassurance. When we found out we were having a boy, I realized how little I know about boys. I am one of two girls and don’t even have any boy cousins except one who I saw little and about whom all I remember is that he loved Star Wars.

    I was relieved this spring to discover, while taking my daily walks through the neighborhood, that little boys like to play with chalk. I was worried about that one, too.

    Of course my worries are only half worries. I’ll do whaever my kids want to do, whether it’s sing and dance and draw or fight pretend pirates or build things.

    Dar Williams has this song called “When I Was a Boy” that is about how little kids are sort of genderless — girls climb trees and boys cry — that provides additional solace. But thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

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