8/21/2012 11:40:00 AM
By Sarah Crosbie
The Jeff and Sarah Show
Monday to Friday 5 to 9 a.m.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I was supposed to be a dancer.
When I was four years old, I spent my free time dancing in my parents’ basement in a black leotard and pink tights. I’d place my stuffed animals on the front yard, let them sit there for a few minutes, and then go out front and – surprise, surprise – find an audience in my front yard waiting to be invited inside to see me dance.
The next year, my parents put me in tap and jazz lessons.
The year-end recital was the highlight of my young life. We did a Smurfs-themed tap routine. I had the most beautiful blue satin body suit with a bright blue tutu and a blue bow pinned in my hair. The jazz number had a sailor theme.
Even at that young age, I felt beautiful and talented. I loved every second of it.
And, then, one day the following year, I was skipping home when I realized my left knee felt funny. Had I fallen on it? Had someone kicked me?
When I got home, I showed my mom and then I remember her making a phone call to my dad and whispering, “Jim, it’s the size of a cantaloupe.”
I didn’t even know what a cantaloupe was – but it didn’t sound good.
I spent a lot of time over the next few months going to doctors’ offices. Someone said something about arthritis. Then there were blood tests. And then a diagnosis of a cyst under my kneecap. I spent my Grade 1 Christmas at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, Ont.
I lost a tooth during surgery and, when my nurse said she was going to change my dressing on my knee after the surgery, I thought she was going to put salad dressing on my leg. The only “dressing” I’d ever seen was French and it was bright orange.
Physio followed. It hurt to walk. And then, because we became so overprotective about my knee, all the dancing stopped.
I tried to pick it up again a few years later, but I’d missed too many years and too many levels and I got placed in an adult class: I was 12 years old dancing to fuddy-duddy music with 40 year olds and a bald older man whose skintight black satin leggings made me really uncomfortable.
I never took dance lessons again.
But I didn’t stop dancing.
Every empty grocery store aisle was a chance for me to do wild step-hop sashays and moves I knew only as “up-up-down” and “hip-hip-hip-hip-hip-hip.” One time, I was dancing so passionately to the Irene Cara 1984 song Flashdance ... What A Feeling, I knocked down a display of Bick’s Pickles in the store. The manager came out, surveyed the puddle of pickle juice, looked at my worried face, and told my mom not to worry about it – this time.
A few months later, when I knocked down a tower of peanut butter, my mom ordered me to quit the grocery-store aisle dancing.
I still love to dance. I’m thrilled to get invited to weddings because I know I get to dance. But I haven’t done much of it in the past 15 years.
But now I have a secret dancing weapon – a man who loves to dance his little tushy off. He dances in the morning. He dances in the night. His little heart is dancing all the time.
I’m happy to spend Friday nights having dance parties in my kitchen.
And if my moves come back, I may just take ’em back to the big time: Safeway, Canadian Superstore, Co-op? Look out.
You better protect your pickles.
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