Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Queen of the Hop

I love to dance!! This darn fibromyalgia has had me sidelined for a very long time now, but in my heart I am still prancing and dancing up a storm like I used to..
I first learned to dance by standing on my father's feet, as he would teach us things like the Hollywood Step, the Fox Trot, the Waltz and so many other dances. We would dance to Glenn Miller, Sammy Kaye, Lawrence Welk, Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo and so many others. Dancing to songs like "American Patrol", "String of Pearls" and many many other big band tunes. We played records that were 78 rpm's, we had no 33's at the time and only a few 45's. But at "The White Elephant" a resale and thrift junk store we could buy 78's for five cents each!! I could spend hours pouring through those records! I think I had every Spike Jones record ever made and Hank Williams Sr. too! I so loved music and any kind of music. And I loved to dance to them too.
I taught myself how to do the swing dances and the Charleston and jitterbug and any dance I heard of was soon mine to learn how to do...even taught myself ballet!
But I was a 50's-60's child and rock n roll was the music of the day and I fully embraced it and the dances as well. We had street dances in Lee's Summit, Missouri and usually there was some prize awarded from one of the local merchants.
One summer the prize was a turquoise transistor radio from Western Auto and I wanted that thing in a bad way! I practiced as much as I could to do all the Rock n Roll dances. I made myself a poodle skirt and I had my white short sleeved crisply ironed blouse. My hair was very curly and reddish and I managed to comb it straight enough to put it in a high ponytail with a huge pink scarf tied into it!! And my bobby sox and my black and white saddle oxfords (the only shoe my father would buy us). Oh my look at me I am Sandra Dee!! lol
But I had not finished one of my many chores and Daddy said no I could not go..but for some reason he relented and took us anyway. The dance was being held on the street and this one was on the upper part of 3rd Street close to the funeral home. When we got there I got shy and scared and would not go out to dance, but eventually I made my way into the crowd. Daddy said he could see me by watching for my feet, as I had the whitest shoes and socks there. He had taught us to be a stickler about white things and to use lots of white shoe polish for our shoes and lots of bleach in the laundry. A habit I still have to this day.
Boy did I ever dance, I rocked and I rolled and I jittered and I strolled! I was just a little skinny thing and I wore myself out trying to win that radio!! AND I DID!!!! I was the "Queen of the Hop" that night! My father was so proud of me and I was proud of myself too! How I loved that little radio and it was all mine now!
I have danced myself crazy many nights since that time, but nothing was ever as satisfying as that night on 3rd Street! Now I dance in my heart and in my dreams and I am still "The Queen of the Hop"!!
Until next time, stay safe and may God bless you!

1 comment:

  1. I learned to dance on my daddy's feet also! This is such a sweet post & I hope you are out the doing the "Swing" soon! Hugs!