Since I was a small child I have loved to dance. I took tap dancing lessons when I was 13 and loved the freedom of expression to move and be whatever I wanted in the music. The private dance teacher was well known in the area and she complimented me many times. I remember being bullied about my dancing by other girls in the group.....so much so I quit.
What I can only assume as jealousy from the other girls turned into a humiliating experience when they hid my clothes after gym class. Wearing only my bra and panties I was pushed out the door and they held it shut behind me. I had no choice but to run around to the back of the building and hide. To make matters worse the male gym teacher heard the commotion and found my hiding place. He walked me around the front and made the girls let me in!
Searching for my clothes, I found them under the towel bin. Of course I chose to wear a white blouse and pink skirt that day, which by then was full of dirt and dust. I don't remember much else of the day, but as you see it did stick with me.
In my 40's Vince and I took a ballroom and swing dance class and had such a good time. I will be forever grateful to my sweet husband for doing something out of his comfort zone. We have since danced together in our living room, on vacation and when whenever we feel like it!
Vince recently posted some photos of my dance with the Japanese American Association in Eugene, Oregon for their Obon Celebration which is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. When we visited Steve and Lisa in Japan a few months earlier I had a yukata made by a 75 year old tailor and wore it for the first time to dance at Bon Odori in Eugene.
My friend Yen-chu!
During our current visit with Steve and Lisa, I was able to wear my yukata to the Lantern Festival and felt so beautiful!
We attended a traditional community Bon Dance at an elementary school last night. Lisa and I joined the dancers and I fell right into rhythm and continued to dance for the next hour and a half. Vince and Steve joined the final dance where we were handed fans with numbers on them to keep for drawings of gifts later. It was an unexpected, wonderful, and from me, a heartfelt evening as I realized I was actually participating in Bon Odori in JAPAN!