I'm feeling a tad sallow today. Raise your hand if you've heard of Alvin Aily American Dance Theater. I hadn't until I showed up at their dance performance last night and looked at the program ( got free tickets at work). A troupe of the most amazing African American dancers I've seen in years took the stage and shimmy by shimmy, reinforced my insecurity about being a Caucasian nothing. One of the female dancers was tiny, bald, ripped and had the bootie the size of Philadelphia. It was the most fabulicious bottom I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. I know no white girl could ever get herself one of those. The dancer and her rear were my favorite part of the show by sooo far.
The whole concept of this dance company is to take classical ballet and integrate African American dance into it. The aim is to preserve all the dance forms created on the streets of America everyday. It made for quite a show. Every dancer had a solid ballet background and was capable of the most exquisite grace and beauty. Then add in the power and organic nature of hip hop and modern dance moves and you've got one heck of a show.
I wish I could have brought Pixie. It's my dream for her to be able to dance like a black lady by the time she's 5 but I'm afraid that with me as her only dancing role model, she'll just end up doing the Macarena over and over until she dies in a whisper at 80. How can I transfuse soul into her? She loves to dance but her only move right now is the knee bend and head bob. Maybe there's hope. There was one token white woman in the company who seemed to be keeping up with the best of them. It was funny to be on the other side of the fence and see a white person as the "token." Although it's not fair to call her that because she really had achieved brilliance in dance and didn't have the same apologetic posture about her whiteness that I often do.
As usual, I came home with ambitions to take dance lessons, become a diva and have a performance hall named after me. Like most little girls, I did the two obligatory years of ballet when I was really little. Then there comes the inevitable point where you teacher pulls your parents aside, asks their feelings about bulemia, and decides that you will never cut it as a ballerina. Then my mom signed me up for ballroom dance classes. It was in 4th and 5th grade and the only thing I took away from it was a healthy disgust for sweaty boy hands and the sick memory of consistently being picked last as a dance partner. As a teenager I took jazz dance class which was much better because there was no guy to push me around and I could just stand in the back of the room getting jiggy with my bad self. But all good things must come to an end - especially when you are one of nine children and have too many extracurricular interests for your parents to keep up with. The only dancing I do now is for Pixie who has a morbid fascination with my lame moves.
I'll probably run Pixie through the same gambit of classes that I ran with a similar outcome. If I get lucky she can be friends with some soul sisters and get down with her own personal jiggy on the side. I should of at least given her some awesome black girl name like LaD'qua or ShaNaZa. I just wish she could have come last night and seen how much more there is to dancing than my wobbly knee jive I perform for her when she's eating breakfast. We're both young yet. There may be salvation for our dance moves yet. I'll keep my pale eyes open. Man am I white.