shall we dance?

By kateandcarla

September 16, 2011

Category: Uncategorized


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A few days ago, my friend Doris posted the following: “Zumba? What was I thinking? The longest hour of my life.” I was pleased to read, the following day, that she not only had survived this dance-based aerobic workout, she was walking, talking and keeping the purchasing department at Wayne County Hospital humming. Way to go, Doris!

But that was simply one of several dance-related thoughts and memories that have made their way through my mind this past week. Having promised Carl Jung and the Universe I’d pay attention to any motif that appears three or more times in sequence in my life…here goes.

When I received word that my classmate Bonnie McClain had passed–far too young at 61, too needed as a counselor, and too insightful as I’ve learned from her daughter Alex’ postings–I thought of her dancing. It was in 1968, the year we would graduate from SCHS, at some school dance. Homecoming? Mixer?Who knows. What I remember is that the DJ (and yes, we did have a live one, imagine that), dared to play fast music. Most of us had no clue what to do when the 45’s for Cream’s White Room, the Beatles’ Revolution and Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild begin spinning. But Bonnie did.  And Glenda did. And Linda did. Not sure I was ever more deliciously envious in my teen years than when these three young women, with their long, Mod-straight blond and brunette hair, showed that southern Iowa gymnasium what was new and what was next.

This was also the week I watched Lily dance on Skype, Sippee cup in one hand and stuffed cat in the other. And the week I recalled the ballroom dance lessons I took as self-therapy when my last relationship ended. And when my Mom mentioned good times from Dad’s and her dancing years–which began when he turned 70 with dance lessons from a friend in the basement of their Promise City home. Neither had danced in their younger days–Mom was raised Baptist; Dad was shy. But all things in good time.

So, Doris, Lily, Bonnie, Dad…and Garth…here’s to The Dance.


2 Responses to “shall we dance?”

  1. Carla,
    My brother found this and recommended that I read it.
    Thank you; it was lovely.
    I don’t remember much about those dancing days, except that
    Bonnie said that if we did not get up and dance with her they would keep on playing Blue Velvet over and over and over again, forever. And she just hated, loathed and abominated Blue Velvet.
    But I don’t remember doing the actually dancing, and I never could have named the tunes.
    (And most of what I remember of the prom was sitting on wallflower row with her, eating my corsage because she dared me to.)

    Bonnie and I lost touch at least a dozen years ago. And who knows who made the last long-distance phone call. But I do know that one or the other of us crooned a bar of
    “She wore Bluuuue Vel-vet,”
    and we laughed.

    Again, thank you.


    • Glenda –
      Loved your note and the Blue Velvet ultimatum that got the three of you on the dance floor.
      It’s one of my favorite high school memories, and it certainly helped last week as I tried to process Bonnie’s passing/time’s flying.
      If it had not been for your brother, I’m quite sure I never would have escaped ‘wallflower row’ as a sophomore. (Thanks, Gary.)
      But I have never eaten my corsage.
      You win. 😉

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