We stopped in Rockford to visit our friend Becky. We met Becky while teaching at the International School in Bangkok over 20 years ago. After a glass of wine or two (wink) the “Do you remember when’s” began…
Becky: Shelley, do you remember when we took you to see the Martha Graham Dance Performance?
Shelley: Ha! Ha! Sure do. That night was a disaster beginning with the ushers moving us to the front rows. In my defence, I’d never seen creative dance before. It was so serious, so theatrical, so freakin’ funny. I remember one particular dance, where the dancers stood in a semi-circle ram-rod straight, with their cloak hoods pulled forward, flutter clapping, while performing calf raises; up, down, up, down, again and again and again. Endless. Worse, I was convinced they were looking straight at me, which made me extremely uncomfortable. And, as you know, when I’m uncomfortable, I giggle.
Becky: That was hardly a giggle. You were laughing. Body shaking, mouth hanging open, tears running down your face, laughing.
Shelley: So were you.
Becky: Not my fault. I would never have laughed if you hadn’t have started it. Jesse (Becky’s son, who later on danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York) was horrified.
Did you know that around that time he commented,
“Mom. You’re different since you’ve been hanging out with Shelley.“
Shelley: I’m sure he meant for the better.
Shelley, Becky and John: Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Shelley: Anyway, you can hardly blame me for our dance performance at ISB.
Becky: Oh my God! I’d forgotten about that. If I remember correctly, the school organized a talent show as a money raiser. Teachers were encouraged to perform.
Shelley: That’s right. So “we” not “me” came up with the brilliant idea for us to borrow Spanish Dance Dresses and creatively dance.
Translation: go on stage, in front of a full house, 100% unprepared, except having a vague idea of rolling around the stage circling and dodging each other, while high kicking and shaking our skirts on office chairs, to Flamenco music. Guaranteed to bring the house down.
Shelley: Sadly, the audience’s response was quite disappointing.
Becky: What response? There wasn’t a response. Nothing but deafening silence. We’re talking crickets. Even when we went back stage, no one would look us in the eye.
Shelley: Whatever. They obviously didn’t know talent when it stared them straight in the eye.
Becky: Hey. I have tap dancing shoes. Want to put them on and tap? It’ll be just like the old days.