Thursday, June 23, 2011

Following In Florence's Footsteps

It's rarely a thrill to notice you have become just like your parents.

Usually it's during one of those not-so-flattering moments when you hear yourself say something or watch yourself do something and remember once upon a time you swore, swore, swore you'd never be like them but here you are be-ing just like them...

But how about those other moments when you notice you have become just like your parents?

I remember one day years and years and years ago during a visit to Florence - she was in her late sixties - watching her, as she held a little notebook filled with instructive notes, mesmerize me with tapping I didn't know lived in her feet. Growing up in Fred and Ginger movies, she had always wanted to tap. She alluded that it was a challenge to go to that class - maybe because she was older than everyone, maybe because she was reclaiming a dream too late. But she went until she couldn't anymore.

Facing the rest of my fifties, I decided to do what I had always wanted to do. It wasn't Fred and Ginger I wanted in my feet, but salsa music, what I heard all my life drifting onto Broome Street from the tenements, filling the neighborhood's bodegas, or blasting out of big cars zipping under the Williamsburg Bridge.

So I started taking a weekly free salsa lesson in the neighborhood. I may be old enough to be the other students' mother, and yeah sometimes sitting and watching the guys ask elegant, beautiful, young women to dance feels like I'm back in a junior high school nightmare.

But I am like my mother. Gotta dance.


Anonymous said...

This was a good thing. You inherited her desire to pursue her dreams. You have inspired me to dig out all my old dreams, blow the dust off them and see if, at my advanced age, any of them are still doable.

c.o. moed said...

Do it, my baby john!!! Dance!!!! or whatever dream your feet desire!!!! They're all doable!!!

Melanie said...

I love to dance. I was dancing the other day!!! Music and dance and dreams rock!!!

bucko said...

Beautiful! Love the rhythm of generations in this. Great way to reconnect. The young men don't know what they're missing. Or they will, once they're of our age.

Unknown said...

love that picture! Going this week? I think I'm skipping Lincoln Center (Swing and fox trot)I'd much prefer HOT SALSA!!so I might join you.