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?