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Once Upon a time....
Posted On: 02/19/2021 21:59:18

When I was a little thing.... I longed to dance! I have very early memories of going out into the back yard, and, standing on the footpath there, with a pair of 'noisy shoes' I'd pretend I could tap-dance, and I'd sing ...."IF she's smilin all the while....THAT'S Peggy O'Neil.....'' and I'd spread out my stick-out dress, and courtsey, plugging my finger into my cheek to create a dimple!

I can smile about it now, thinking back, I had such a great imagination! I used to also recruit half the neighbourhood girls, bring them to my 'stagging' area - a big rock face with a flat surface that was my mock stage, and put on shows, getting them all involved! As I said, a great imagination!

Living not 5 minutes away from me was Colleen Webber - a nifty little thing with blonde curls, 9 brothers, and a 'stage door mother' who used to sew all her costumes, handle all her dancing shoes, and run her through all her tap dance and ballet routines every day! I naturally knew Colleen, in fact we were fast friends - so her mother would permit me, as an ardent fan of Dance, to sit silently in wrapt awe, and watch Colleen practising her dance routines.

Moving forward some years now in my story, we'd moved from where we lived close by to Colleen, to the coast.....a 20 minute ride by train. We used to go back to visit her, and her family for many years, until she moved on, getting married and moving to Queensland with her new husband!  However, I'm getting ahead of myself...

Two years after we'd moved to the coast, I had occasion to visit a small dance 'studio' which was actually a church hall nearby. It was a Saturday morning, and I was thrilled to see the girls in their leotards, and little blue stretch frilled 'tutu's tap dancing in their routines.  I did this, going over to watch the dancers, for a couple of Saturdays, before one time, the dance teacher there, asked me if I could dance!

As I'd taken notice of the steps when I used to watch Colleen dancing, I proudly stood up, and proceeded to show off some of those steps while the dancing teacher stood by watching.  She apparently was impressed, asking me to come and see her after class was over. I approached her when it was time, and she asked me if I'd like to join her dance group!

I was so surprised and delighted, but when she said what it would cost, I said I did not think my mother would be able to pay that amount. I was one of 5 children, and we were always watching pennies.  I cannot remember the exact details, but they offered a cut price rate and, in the end, it was not just I who joined her dance team, but my sisters came too!

I was so elated, and excited, that I practised madly anytime I could, all the routines I'd learned them so fast, and used to put on my tap shoes and work through all the routines even at home, for hours on end! No doubt I drove my family mad with all the noise but no one stopped me in my glee! The teacher was so impressed with my ability to dance, she awarded me two solo's and when they put on a concert, two months after we started there, I had the thrill of doing the two solo dances - one was a 'fast tap' set to Whistling Rufus, and the other a song,  "Pass Me By"  with a jazz ballet routine to follow...

I have never forgotten the absolute thrill of it all, the pretty costumes, and makeup, the hair curlers, making my hair into ringlets, and the elation of dancing on stage!   If I regret anything at all, it would have to be that there are no photos taken which seems odd now, when I look back, because our family photos were legendary, there were SO many, we almost needed a separate house to put them in!  Just sharing some precious memories with you today....


Viewing 1 - 4 out of 4 Comments

02/22/2021 20:57:24

Thanks very much Texasjane...

02/22/2021 14:03:45

Wonderful memory.  Thank you so much for sharing.

02/20/2021 23:38:38

Hello and thanks for your nice note on my new post! It was fun, recalling those days - and there's still a little spark of that 'dancer' inside... I keep a lid on it these days however!! haha! I would be delighted to find more memories to share here: thanks for your encouraging words.  . .

02/20/2021 23:00:48

What a delightful 'back when' story of your childhood. To have dreams and then being able to participate would have been very special. 

Thanks for sharing your story... and I hope there will be more to come.

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