Dancing was and is good, and I must admit that I used to cut a few shapes back in the day .......and at the end of this dancing masterclass there was to be Spectacular in a proper theatre.
Expensive tickets were bought by a sold-out crowd of parents, aunts, and third cousins that jockeyed for seats in the free for all seating arrangements of the proper amateur theatre experience, but at least the seating was on a slope. It was a crowd that taught me a new lesson in evolutionary theory. Evolution of Man and survival of the fittest rested on who had the pointiest elbow. And beware grannies bearing umbrellas and false teeth smiles.
I was a newby lost in with the "Vets" ~ The Regulars with older children that had their phase of loving dance, they had specially darned scarves evenly distributed to mark their claim for the first three rows. Obviously their holiday towel training had gone well. So we were forced to the rear rows and thanked the Lord that we had pointily elbowed our way out of the seat with a panoramic view of a column, we had elbows and knew how to use it. We had been saved from "audio only" ticket that would have singled us out as he who is the one called nerd, son of nerd, son of the geek.
Game on after 15 minutes of waiting and watching the scarf with jealousy, just in case there was a chance of pinzer action and a taking of the lowgrounds. But no curtains were raised and the Regulars miraculosly appeared at the last minute to take the seats draped in the honour guard of the Scarf.
On they came, the dancers......danced...well I say danced...well, no, actually ...on they skipped.... there was to be fair a bizarre twirl of a body enhanced by a trailing scarf that probably had released a half a dozen seats in its hey day.... after such exertions the dancing apparently took on the form of sitting on the floor..... then a sitting on a magic sofa...a lounging about on the sofa that appeared to be based on the young dancers, or perhaps correctly, the sitters posed as in artistic poses, but I could be wrong...the sofa went to far worlds where modern dance appeared to have replaced all forms of communication... in the name of God, this was Modern Dance that bar for a daughter on stage to make me feel duty bound to sit and clap and stay put and overcome a certain fear and loathing, they had inflicted upon me Modern Dance. Was I warned, was there a note on the ticket ~Warning Modern Dance may be boring ~ I would have asked for my money back... but damn it, I ask you ...I looked on....I spit in the face of peer group pressure to clap....skipping is not difficult....I could have done it ~skipping~ and without ten weeks of training, and what did we pay for again....although admittedly if I had actually skipped I probably would have regretted the swollen knees tomorrow. I am growing old. I duly clapped. I have learned that love is clapping Modern Dance when your daughter is skipping and twirling a scarf.
And in all this there was a certainly fatherly pride that as skipping goes my daughter's skipping had a grace, a physical eloquence that any comparisons to heffalumps were safely avoided. It is a strange quirk of fatherhood that unholy of unholies things that got ganders up further than absolutely necessary in former times, those rants I entered into at drop of a hat over one or several beers in single-dom pubs are now condoned and not condemned. I am maturing, but is it fast enough to withstand the coming teenage storm.
This is still, at least, sub thirteen behaviour... we await when she wants to go proper nightclub dancing and I may yearn for the easy applause of seeing my daughter skip across a stage.