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Dream Dancing
by Linda McKenney

I’m best in the car. When using cruise control, I dance. My feet are tapping away to a jazzy piece of music. But put me in front of an audience, and I’m a failure. My mother was a dancer and used to tap dance in the kitchen while we were having breakfast. I pretended that she was annoying, but secretly I wished I could do that too.

I’ve auditioned for musical plays and, well it’s a dance shame. We line up in several rows and given dance steps. First step — not too bad. Second — I’m still in the game. By the third, and repeating them in sequence — I’m crashing into other dancers or they’re stepping on me.   I always place myself in the back row hoping the director will not see me. Unfortunately, he rotates rows and when I’m in front — I’m done.

Once, at a formal party, a coworker asked me to dance. This is another area, where I do not do so well. Following a confident, thinks-he-knows-what-he’s-doing partner is unnerving for me. When he told me he was going to dip me, I begged him not to. He ignored my plea, and proceded to drop me on the dance floor. Now I suffer from PTSD – Positively Terrified Shamed Dancer.

I still fantasize at times, about jumping up and dancing on a table in a restaurant, as if I’m in a Fred Astaire movie, but I’m sure I’d fall off. And at my age, jumping up on anything is unlikely.

So I will never be a Martha Graham or Ginger Rogers, but I will continue to groove to the music in whatever way I can. I’ll wobble onto the dance floor with my walker someday and wiggle my hips (they’ll still be in good shape because they’re titanium).

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me at an early age just wishing I could walk, let alone dance.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda McKenney is a Personal Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Writer, specializing in Mindful Living and Eating. Her creative nonfiction is published in Silver Birch Press, 101 Word Short Stories, The Survivor’s Review and Helen: A Literary Magazine.  She also has an alter ego at Susanbanthony.liveShe continues to dream about dancing because, after all, life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.