Holding my breath I watched footage of myself from the media launch for the “Swinging with the Stars” fundraiser I’m competing in on March 26th at the Capri Hotel in Kelowna. At the end of my gawky dance demo with my instructor, my tongue inexplicably made an appearance reminiscent of Gene Simmons. After viewing the short clip on TV with my children, they looked at me with surprised eyes and open mouths.
“Why did you stick your tongue out like that?” my six year old daughter questioned.
“Are you super embarrassed right now?” asked my nine year old son.
Laughing it off I told the kids that I was nervous dancing in front of a room full of people and didn’t even realize what I’d done.
“Well, you should remember not to do that again,” Daisy counseled.
“Yeah mom,” agreed Sam. “No one needs to see your tongue.”
With the competition only weeks away, that’s not the only thing I need to remember.
I also need to memorize when to put my left foot here, my right foot there, my left arm high, my right arm low, my shoulders down, my chin up, my chest out, my tummy in, my toes pointed and keep a smile on my face.
Heck. It’s no wonder my tongue fell out a little bit.
For an uptight, rhythmically challenged gal like me, my lessons have been interesting to say the least.
“Can you shimmy like this?” my instructor Warren Eaton asked as he swiftly shook his shoulders back and forth.
“Sure,” I replied jolting my left shoulder forward and then sharply sending it back so that my right shoulder could make it’s graceless appearance.
“Um, okay,” he said nodding. “We can work on that.”
“Can you walk like this?” he asked at another lesson while gliding across the room, swaying his hips dramatically from side to side.
“You bet,” I said, mimicking his movements with all my might.
Unfortunately I resembled Roger Rabbit more than the sultry Jessica Rabbit he had in mind.
And if that weren’t bad enough, we quickly discovered that I’m pigeon toed and don’t instinctively know my left from my right.
“Kick your left leg up” Warren instructed. “Okay, let’s try your other left leg.”
And then there was the lesson in which I landed on the ground for no apparent reason.
“How did you end up down there?” he asked after I inadvertently did some painful looking splits and then fell completely backwards.
“I think I tripped over my pants,” I explained. That makes sense.
A few more lessons after that, it happened again. This time, I could feel myself giving him a hard smack as I fell to the floor.
“Are you okay?” he asked standing over me, laughing good naturedly, probably making a mental note to wear a protective cup to our practices from now on.
But as steep a learning curve as this continues to be, I keep reminding myself that it’s all for a great cause. It’s the reason the other amateur competitors and I are willing to put ourselves in a potentially embarrassing situation in front of a large audience as well as a film crew.
Raising money for Hospice, this event will assist the association with their efforts to help people with terminal illnesses pass on with the dignity and respect they deserve. It’s a place many of us could encounter one day, either for ourselves or a cherished loved one.
So, yes, there’s going to be lots to remember the night of March 26th. Keeping my tongue in my mouth, my butt off the ground and a smile on my face are things I hope to remember almost as much as the reason we’re there.
To donate to this worthy cause or get more information about Hospice, please visit www.hospicecoha.org