Friday, February 19, 2010

My first time

Well, it's my first time writing on my own blog. I've visited various blogs for a while now and generally enjoy what I read. I enjoy the different writing styles, the ease of reading and learning what makes others tick. I guess I have something to say but for now it will likely be a ramble or not.

This is about my first time. Do you remember your first time? The first time you realized you were special? The first time you took a chance? The first time you danced?

The first time I realized I was someone special was when my dad asked me to dance in front of neighbors. I was about 3 or 4 years old. My dad might have said something like "Diana mija, ven aca," meaning come here. He called me to dance for him and the neighbors. I could tell they got a kick out of this little girl moving with rhythm by their applause. I can't say what song I was dancing to because it was over 45 years ago. But I do remember always being asked to dance. As a matter of fact they use to call me "pachanga" which refers to a latin dance and music style. I can only assume the music was latin being that my dad's Puerto Rican. But to be perfectly honest, I could have been dancing to James Brown or the Beatles. My dad loved all types of music and lucky for me shared his love of music with me.

One thing for sure is that I was happy, free and comfortable in my skin. I would imagine performing on stage in front of an audience and taking bows after my performances. Yep! This was the beginning of my life as a performer.

In 5th and 6th grade I remember the classroom parties we had with an adjoining classroom. We opened the accordian doors that divided our rooms and did the soul train line to the O'jays "Love Train. We probably learned the latest moves from soul train. Don Cornelius was the man, and his ability to capture audiences of different ethnicities exposed many to a method of dancing still used today - the soul train line. What an era......about 1972 and on for me.

By middle school we were still doing the soul train line but dancing to songs like "Dancing Machine" by the Jackson 5 and stopping to do the robot at the same time Michael Jackson did. Yeah, we were cool dancing the robot. Do you remember?

In my twenties I was still dancing. Disco music was hot (at least in my mind) and Madonna had her first club hit "Everybody". I was in heaven on the dance floor. I danced all night, about 5 days a week, and thought I was pretty good and pretty cool. I knew the latest moves and had great rhythmic style. A lot of people would watch me and because of the attention I received I was in my glory. I was in performance mode.

To this day, if a song is playing while I'm in my kitchen I'll throw out a dance move and get into the groove. My soon to be 17 year old laughs at me because I'm dancing to a song in the style I remember from back in the day. If Anita Ward "Ring my bell" is playing I have a certain dance style throughout the whole song. If a popping/locking song plays such as "Firecracker" by Mass Production then I'm throwing my hands out popping like it's 1979. Imagine a 48 year old mother and wife poppin' like it's 1979. Kind of funny yet cool.

Last year my daughter had a sweet 16 party and guess who worked with her main guys and gals to create a dance? Yep! It was yours truly. Her dance was partly choreographed from the musical "West Side Story" the dance hall scene. But, the song was over 5 minutes long so I had to modify the music and rethink some of the dance styles so that it would be easy enough for her group to learn. Needless to say, after several months of practicing on Sunday afternoons, the dance was a success. It was fun, entertaining and classy. Maybe later on I'll post the video.

Obviously, the first time I danced in front of an audience I realized my love for performing. And as far as I'm concerned I will dance and continue to perform. I embrace the joy of dancing, but most of all I embrace the joy of music and the freedom to express myself.

When I hear music it makes me dance........