Saturday, January 17, 2009

shuffle, ball, change...

When I was a little girl, I took dance lessons. My parents were rather poor, but Mom always scrapped money together to be sure Julie & I were educated in the arts as well as entertained.

I never realized what a sacrifice Mom must have made to make sure we danced. My biggest memories come from a place called Brookside Park.

Brookside Park was established in 1898 with 108 acres of green space as well as a grand recreational community center, complete with gymnasiums and small ball room and stage. Although it looks mighty grand I must tell you that by the 1960's, this was not such a desirable area. The fact that it has survived all these years, and in a rough neighborhood is amazing. It still stands today and continues to serve the community. It has always been a place that made recreation affordable to all. Even today, you can get free lessons there for several activities. The above picture is of the back view of the recreation center.

When my father was a boy, he played ball here and played on these grounds.

Years later, my Mother would take Julie & I here and allowed us to chose our dance classes. The classes cost $.25 per class. We then would have a recital to show off our new "skills" to our parents. We took lots of Tap (my favorite), Baton, Hula (Julie's favorite), Gymnastics, and I think we even tried Ballet.

I remember loving Tap. I was never really any good at it but I loved the sounds I could make with my shoes,, and trying to master, "Shuffle, ball, change".

Life is much like that simple but thought out step. Shuffle, ball, change.

Today was one of those harder days for me. No particular reason. Just more of a struggle. I could not help but think about Brookside Park and trying to master that step. I remember my instructor patiently, yet frustratedly trying to help me grasp it so the class could move forward with the dance we were practicing. It was so important for me to get it.

I feel that I must shuffle- gather what I have, ball - prepare to move forward, then, and only then, can I change, and move to the next foot to make my step.

Does that make any sense?


An English Shepherd said...

Yes it makes sense, nice mom and nice memorys.

(messed the first post up...)

Anonymous said...

Very nice/interesting thoughts and well written, Sheri is rubbing off on you...Deb..

janis said...

Thank you Wiz, it was a great memory and yes I had a nice Mom.

Deb~ Wow! Thank is the nicest comment I have ever recieved! I am honored you think Sher is rubbing off on me (:

Anonymous said...

I remember Dad taking us to go sledding there and I ended up flying off the top of one of those step buttreses ( I know I spelled that wrong ) and wizzing off several feet in the air to crach and burn.

Dad even got a ticket by the police for tying a sled to the back of his truck and pulling us through the park. He grew up about a mile from that area so he has lots of memories of Brookside.

Kim even took dance lessons there when she was about six years old.

Nice post and agree with Deb-- very well written.