When I was a little girl I was made to dance. I wasn’t allowed any lessons or given any instruction but I seemed to have a natural rhythm that dictated some type of talent and my step dad cashed in on that. With no money available for the real competition scene (coupled with the fact that I really was not good enough to compete against the top girls), instead I was peddled round the parks on our cheapo tent holidays winning less cheapo holidays in better parks and chalets.
Don’t get me wrong. I liked to dance back then. I loved going to the school disco with my friend Dawn and I would spend my break times with her creating routines in the playground but that was a freer kind of me. The creative kind of me.
The holiday park me danced to the same song over and over again and wore the same dress while I was doing it. I won’t mention what song but believe me when I tell you it wasn’t one I had picked for myself. The whole thing was contrived and just another way to make the people who looked after me feel good about themselves and better about the fact that they had children in tow.
At that age is felt the norm of course until I went into foster care a few years later. I went on holiday with them and the whole vibe was a different one. I remember getting ready to troll out the usual dancing me and I remember being told I didn’t have to do it.
Truth is I have never known what the norm is.
Anyway, enough of the negative because older me loves to dance. I love being able to let myself do whatever I want in time (and sometimes not) with whatever is playing. I love making up cheesy dance moves in my head that somehow make it to the dance floor. I love watching my friend dance opposite me, the goofy faces we make at each other and the genuine warmth I get in my heart as my favourite songs make my body do crazy things.
It’s a creative, don’t give a care kind of me that I don’t see very often but I love it when she comes out to play. She finds a corner in a crowded room and it suddenly becomes safe. She jumps and kicks and thinks she is a doll. She waits eagerly to hear which song is coming next and she stamps her feet when it’s one she really likes.
She isn’t scared or anxious or dealing with all the thoughts that pound in her head the rest of the blooming time. She isn’t small and being shouted at because she got a step wrong because there are no blooming steps. In fact, when she falls over her friend usually goes with her and my how they laugh! She doesn’t care about the boys or pays any attention to the other people. She doesn’t think she is cool and you know what, she doesn’t care if you think she is cool.
She is dancing. She is dancing for herself. And it’s good!