Thursday, August 23, 2007

Writing Is Like Dancing

Everyone wants it but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to be successful.

With hair neatly pulled back in slick shiny pony tails, sparkling black patent tap shoes gleaming from their feet, I drove my talented twin girls to the local dance studio. They danced around the house all the time and I knew they were full of natural talent.

Soon my fantasy turned into the reality of turned in toes, bent knees, rounded backs and $400 a month! This was not the picture I had of my little darlings in the limelight. Stardom was going to take a little longer than I had imagined.

I filled out the enrollment form for the weekly 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon combination class.

Week one: Ballet, jazz and tap all taught in 55 minutes. (what did I know?) At this rate they would learn one dance in nine months that would be performed at the annual recital.

Week two: Flap, flap, ball chain, shuffle, grapevine… Dance slang… So exciting… I was learning more than my seven year olds. My feet were itching to get out there with them.

Week three: My daughters were beginners but they had talent. I am sure the teacher would recognize it if she would just take her eyes off the Shirley Temple Clone in the cutsie leotard.

Week four: At last! The individual attention I had been waiting for. Each child was to gracefully walk across the floor on their little tippy toes while holding their arms as if they were carrying a large beach ball, with heads high and shoulders down…. It was obvious my darlings had never carried a large beach ball.

Week five: Repetition of weeks, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Thirty-six more weeks to go.

Before the thirty-six weeks were half over, I knew that one dance class a week was not going to make anyone in that class a dancer. In order to become good at what you do, you must do it daily. This is what dance taught me and my daughters.

Six years after that first week, one daughter was dancing with the Theatre Ballet of San Francisco and performed in their Nutcracker for two seasons. Also she performed with the Oakland Ballet Nutcracker five seasons. She is now fulfilling her passion as a ballet teacher.

The second twin’s passion was not dance but she loved the discipline it taught her and performing. Dance helped her to overcome her shyness when she tried out for Cheerleader and nailed a place on the team.

Writing is like dancing. It is a discipline and it must be practiced daily.

Write it down,



  1. Love this. It's so true. Makes me want to write AND dance.

  2. I think I learned how to dance by osmosis. A psyhic once told me I was a dancer in a former life.