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The Muffed Dance

Teri was 5. As younger siblings do, she looked up to her ... the dancer, in a big way. Sara was 4 years older and ... in ballet, tap and jazz.So we enrolled Teri in the same dance sc

Teri was 5. As younger siblings do, she looked up to her older
sister, the dancer, in a big way. Sara was 4 years older and was
excelling in ballet, tap and jazz.

So we enrolled Teri in the same dance school and she really
seemed to enjoy the lessons and her new friends. She was now, of
course, a dancer, like her sister. And Teri very much looked forward
to the climax of her first dance season, the year-end dance recital
this school put on.

If you’ve ever been a dance parent, you of course realize that the
obligation is quite large. Aside from the weekly lessons, scheduled
on different days in our case, there is the extra investment of time
and money preparing for the ‘big event’ - extra lessons and
rehearsals, fittings for the completely different head-to-toe costume
required for each dance number and a parents meeting for each
dancer to make sure everyone was on the same stage come recital
night. Baseball parents have it easy!

As fate would have it, Teri had surgery to lengthen her heel cord a
few weeks prior to her dancing debut. But that didn’t stop her from
lugging around the heavy cast trying keep up with the other
performers. That’s my girl!

The big night arrives and in a flurry of hurried activity, we deliver our
girls backstage complete with special hair do’s and a full coat of
stage war paint and we take our seats in the auditorium.

The place darkens, the curtain rises and the show begins with the
performances of some of the advanced students. They beam with
pride showing off the stuff they had worked so hard on all year long.
Two of Sara’s dances were slated and as always, she didn’t miss a

Then, to the “ahhhh, aren’t they cute”’s of the packed house, the
curtain lifts to reveal Teri’s class of little tykes all in a line looking
nervously around under the bright lights. At one end of the line was
Teri, with her bulky cast in plain view and her hands tucked in the
white muff in the starting position for “the Muff Dance.”

The moment arrived and music started. Teri didn’t. She just stood
there, still as a statue, while her friends slipped into their well-
rehearsed routine.

Was she nervous? Did she forget her steps? Did her foot hurt?

Then, as if on cue, she gracefully took her left hand out of the muff
and raised it to her face, inserted her index finger into her nostril
and with the precision of a Texas oil driller, began a full-scale
exploration of the orifice that seemingly wouldn’t conclude until she
hit paydirt! That’s my girl!

Needless to say, the place erupted into hysterical laughter that
overrode the loud music. I began to slither down in my seat trying
not to be among the majority who were splitting a gut at the
spectacle and add to the embarrassment that Teri must have been
beginning to feel.

Suddenly, as if it finally registered that the non-relenting roar of
laughter was directed at her, she ran off the stage. I was already
hustling out of the theatre to the backstage area in anticipation of
having to do some creative parenting and intense consolation.

With a lot of tear drying and a little coaxing I managed to convince
my little dancer to “get on with the show”, where she performed the
rest of her numbers, without using her fingers.

The next yearArticle Search, she played tee ball.

© Rick Beneteau

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