Save the Last Dance for Me

by

I don’t like dancing.

Don’t get me wrong, I got rhythm. When a song comes on with a good beat, I can tap my foot just as good as the next guy. Just don’t ask me to dance. 

Unless, that is, you’re my daughter.

I don’t know when it all started, but whenever the radio’s on or the turntable’s spinning and there’s a fun or funky tune echoing throughout our home, all I have to do is call out to Boogieface, and the next thing you know we’re cutting a rug, even if it’s just the kitchen floor linoleum. 

As far as dancing goes, it’s pretty darn awful. Like I said, I don’t like to dance, and therefore I’m no good at it (or maybe it’s the other way around, i.e., the chicken and the egg). You can barely classify what my daughter and I do as actual “dancing.” It’s more of a full-body, monkey-see-monkey-do set to music, with yours truly being the head monkey. 

But we smile and laugh and have a total blast, regardless. Besides, we’re at home. Who’s gonna see us?

How bad can I be, you ask? Let me put it this way: I’m so terrible that my wife actually refuses to dance with me at weddings, lest the other guests see us. Yeah, that bad.

What’s funny is my aversion to dance doesn’t make much sense. My parents are both wonderful dancers and can do everything from the Foxtrot to the Cha-Cha. My sisters are also talented dancers, having taken many years of lessons in their youth. Come to think of it, being dragged to all those boring classes and recitals, year after painful year, is probably a big part of why I despise dancing so much today. 

Again, unless it’s with Boogieface.

A couple weeks ago we went to our first father-daughter dance–a 1950s-themed “sock-hop” at a local Catholic school. I had never been able to go with her in the past due to other obligations, so I was excited and, honestly, a little bit nervous to finally get to be her date.

As the music began bouncing off the walls of the Our Lady of Fatima gymnasium, at first it was like we were back at one of my middle-school dances. All the girls were out on the floor dancing with each other, while all the “boys” (aka, us fathers) stood off to the side and watched. But I had held the wall up too many times back in the day, and I wasn’t about to do it again.

So as some current recording artist (I know, I’m old) went on and on about “whipping” and “nay-naying” (whatever that means), I took my daughter’s hand and the two of us took to the dance floor. At first I was the only father dancing (if you could even call it that), which I was well aware of. But before long I was joined by more and more of my fellow dads, all of whom, just like me, were having the time of their lives dancing with the prettiest girl in the room.

Boogieface is nearly a teenager now, so I know our silly dancing-in-the-kitchen days are numbered (not to mention me calling her “Boogieface” without her getting upset). But until she tells me otherwise, we’re going to keep on being silly, laughing and dancing together in the kitchen, the dining room…wherever. No matter how stupid I may look.

It’s a price I’m willing to pay. ~

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Copyright © 2019 Valentine J. Brkich

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