Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The "Look, Rav, No Hands" rumba. :) : Fifty-six-year-old woman tries her hand—er, feet—at choreography for the first time

From the comments to my Sunday, June 12, 2005 post, “Anniversary Waltz”:

“"May you have many more years to step on each other's feet." Another wise guy heard from. :) [The "wise guy" was Psycho Toddler, of course. Who else? :) ]

The Punster and I split the dancing skills similarly to the way we split the computer skills--he takes care of the technical details, and I make it look good . . .

It's the same when we dance. He's much better at fancy footwork (the "technical" stuff). But I'm more graceful. I joke with him that, between the *two* of us, we make *one* darn good dancer. :)

As for our *non*-folk dancing, the first time I heard your "Ki V'Simcha," I dragged him out of his office/the Young Scientist's bedroom and started jitterbugging, which *he's* really good at. You probably would have gotten a kick out of seeing that. Er, um, on second thought, I guess there's not much mixed dancing going on in your community. I suppose we could try something remotely resembling a cha-cha--we could call it the "Look, Rav, No Hands" rumba. :)”

Okay, so it’s not a rumba. But it’s "Look, Rav, No Hands," all right. A line dance. I choose that type of dance specifically because I wanted to choreograph for the shomer negiah crowd. (For an explanation of the term "shomer negiah," see here: With any luck, it’ll turn out to be a good “simcha” dance.

Just rock out for the first eight beats.

(Update: Eek! I forgot to give you the link! Go here and scroll up or down in the radio blog until you come to "Ki V'Simcha." Click on it and listen. Then you can count the beats below with me. :) And, if you listen to the whole thing—that's half the fun, of course—you can hear that "break" that I'm complaining about, too.)

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and
Charleston 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 feet together hold

And that’s just the intro!

Holy Moses, this is a kick!

It was a lot of hard work. A little in the apartment. Then embarrassing the dear Punster by spending an hour in public—on the line waiting to get tickets to Shakepeare in the Park (we were too late and didn’t get in)—trying to remember the music in my head and work out some more steps in full view of several dozen total strangers. And then more work at home. Yes, that’s right. At home. In our apartment. Choreographing a dance in a “postage stamp.” Talk about having to turn on a dime . . .And do two series of “mayim” steps in between the paper piles and the dining room table’s chairs. (Probably drives the downstairs neighbors nuts, all that literal dancing over their heads. Not to mention the poor woman next door, who has to put up with hearing the same song over and over and over . . . I’ve decided to have mercy on her and keep the music as low as I can keep it and still hear it well enough to dance to it.)

And working on the dance at the shul in the sanctuary—biggest room in the building, and besides, we’re in there for minyan and breakfast anyway, Monday and Thursday mornings. Got a smile out of one of our seniors when she came in to work in the Thrift Shop—she got a kick out of what I did in bars seven and eight. (So do I—that’s why I “wrote” it that way.)

Finally started teaching it to the Punster last Thursday in the shul after morning minyan. Holy Moses, there’s a change of pace! He’s been teaching me dances for years! And I almost always get behind him—I’ve rarely had the nerve to lead a dance, even when I know it in my sleep. This is the first time I’ve ever taught him a dance.

Only one major problem. There I am, dancing away in the living room, thinking I’ve finally got the whole thing down pat after a week’s hard work, when oliver sudden, I stop dead in my tracks. That’s five beats?!!! Not four? Five?!!!!!! *&^%$#!!!!!! Okay, which one of you is the wise guy? Whoever came up with the brilliant idea of writing a five-beat “break” in the middle of this song is gonna get taken out at sunrise and shot. (Don’t worry—I promise to set my phaser on “stun.” :) ) Sure, it sounds great, but how the frack am I supposed to choreograph a five-beat dance sequence? With the last two beats out of rhythm. Followed, noch besser (even better, quoth she sarcastically) by three beats, three beats, and seven beats!!! *&^%$#!!!!!! It’s a good thing I was already planning on doing air guitar for those last seven beats, or I would have shot all three of you! :) The “break” alone took me at least half an hour to choreograph. Pity the poor Punster. He’s trying to get some tax returns done, and I keep standing there next to his/the Young Scientist’s desk trying out steps. “Is this okay? Does this work? Hey, how do you like that thumbs-over-the-shoulder thingie? I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just kinda fell into it. Does that work? I think it’s neat. I’ll keep it.”

I’m still working out some minor refinements. And I’m still working with the Punster on learning the dance. Even I can’t do the whole thing yet without missing a step or two, and I’m the choreographer, for Pete’s sake! Once I get all the kinks out and both of us get the steps down pat, we’ll draft some poor soul with a video camera to do the deed. And then it’s “Hello, Milwaukee!” :)


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

If you're talking about a 5-beat break in MY song, then you need to blame Queen, because I stole the entire bridge from "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".

Wed Jul 20, 12:37:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Okay, so I'll shoot Queen instead. :) (Set phasers on "stun.")

Thanks for the quote info. Here's a translation of Isaiah 55:12.

"For you will go out in joy, and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth before you into singing (JPS translation--"shout aloud"); And all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Hot sauce! Two claps hereby added. (I've been avoiding them because I don't want to drown out the music.)

Jewish rockabilly. What a kick! :)

Wed Jul 20, 09:37:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Eliyahu said...

you meant 46, right?

Wed Jul 20, 09:59:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Not unless I've forgotten how to read Roman numerals. It sure looks like 55:12 to me. Anyhoo, if that's what the composer says he wrote the music to, methinks I'll take him at his word. Or Hashem's words. :)

Wed Jul 20, 10:08:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Six months later, the coin finally dropped. Talk about being slow on the update, it took me this long to realize that that "46" referred to my age! Thanks for the compliment, Eliyahu. I'll consider it a birthday present, since I'll be 57 (not 47) in about an hour.

Tue Jan 31, 11:07:00 PM 2006  

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