CUE THE ORCHESTRA!

One, Two, THREE! We dance teachers have a “thing” about counting out numbers with the music. “5, 6, 7 ,8” is a popular count to begin a combo and get all the dancers in synch. Each step or movement usually has an assigned count to it from 1-8. There’s “1 and a 2, 3 and a4” or “1e and a, 2e and a, 3e and a” Lots of options to remember and lots of music to be played. But these variations also make me realize that these counts in OUR own life go by quickly, as if stuck on fast forward.

THREE!

newborn

I’m “zeroing” in on the number THREE because in the blink of any eye…my youngest (our lil’ miracle baby) is turning three. She’s old enough to do ‘big girl things, but young enough to keep her childhood magic aglow during a simple day (even more during holidays and special family events.) She coaxes out the inner child in virtually everyone around her. She’s a little sis to two wonderful big brothers who are also growing too fast by the way. If I could only hit the “pause” button with my kids, as we do in dance class to repeat a combination. In the meantime, I will SAVOR the moments. I will pause. I will stop. I will watch. I will listen. Just as I do while rehearsing my classes for a big show. It’s about fine tuning. It’s about details. They have my full attention.

MOMENTS?

Can you think of moments you may have missed while you’re focused on a phone or iPad, while your child is experiencing a brand new fleeting childhood moment? I am guilty of that. Especially with my 3rd child. You see, not only is she three, she is growing up through social media. Although I am happy her life is well-documented on Facebook, on my phone, on instagram and now, this blog. There have been times where I’d take a photo, post it immediately, then check far too often waiting anxiously for “likes” or “comments.” Yet at the same time…

I am missing the authentic moment.

Right. In. Front. Of. Me.

Pause. Rewind. Start over.

One more time.

5, 6, 7, 8.

LIFE BY THE NUMBERS

1. Our youngest surprises us by entering this world, early
2. We were expecting a boy — we already have two — but ‘she’ surprises us
3. Welcome to this world precious soul
4. New words in the house, such as “she“ and “her”
5. A puffy cloud of pinks and purples came over our home
6. Time crawls by, yet suddenly she’s walking and talking
7. Our baby turns One!
8. Our baby turns Two.

1st bday

2ndbday

Clearly 8 counts of a song or combination cannot capture the numerous MOMENTS of wonder, joy, and pure LOVE we have celebrated these last three years of this precious, sweet, girl…..SIGH.

Time to add more music, more “steps,” more counts. So in class I could scroll down for a new song on the iPod or put in another CD. Ahhhhh…..the music continues….the counts go on….I pause, I rewind, I fast forward, then rewind. A “dance” is created. It’s a memorable one too.

Stop. TAKE A MOMENT TO “PLAY!”

Grab some type of material, even a napkin, in your house or office (we use scarves in dance class). Take your item and scrunch it up into a little ball in your hand. Grab a few family members. Now count down…..then toss it in the air, knowing that our family is laughing along WITH your family and friends. Hey. It’s even a simple joy by yourself. Feed your inner child. 🙂

Are you ready? 5.….4.….3.….2.…..OOOOOOONE!!! (Toss your object in the air, with all the joy you can muster!)

Cue the music! Now get on with your DANCE!

Football Food and Motherhood

A Curtsy to Oscar Night….

Time for a little sparkle and maybe a little bubbly. The stars are coming out! Not the beautiful constellations in the sky but the MOVIE stars! You see, I’m a big fan of the Academy Awards and going to the movies. I love the escape a well-crafted film can provide. I also enjoy the “I’d like to thank the Academy” speeches. And I LOVE the idea of being a movie star….I think. Well, maybe just for a day….for the adventure.  Dance Bubbles

What do you think about being a movie star?

Speaking of ‘thank you’ — at the end of a pre-ballet class we always wrap things up with a final curtsy, in other word’s, our final bow. Using our imaginations, we pretend we are bowing to our audience or even our prince! It’s my method of showing my gratitude towards each student for a wonderful class. It’s also their sign of respect and thanks to the dance teacher (yours truly), and makes them more comfortable doing the curtsy for an appreciative audience in the future.

To me a curtsy eloquently says, “Thank you.”

This brings me back to the Academy Awards and the infamous “acceptance speech.” I like to hear what the winners say. It’s as if for those 2 minutes we have a brief window into that person’s soul. Are they truly humble? Or have they won so many Oscars that they need to drop names for business reasons. The heartfelt humble words and the speeches that make you laugh along, that’s what I am looking for. Each speech makes you think, who you would thank and how you might react.

So with that, I’m going to share my annual “Fake Acceptance Speech.” You can go running back down the red carpet or you can join me in my imagination as I, Miss Pam, receive my fake Oscar and give my fake speech…..

Oscar Miss Pam

“O. M. G! Is this for real, is this really happening?
(I look directly into the Oscar statues eyes here)
Hellooooo there Golden Guy…. Wow! I can’t believe this!

Hugh Jackman are you out there?
(Here I scan the audience for his holy hotness and look in his eyes.)
“Hellooooo Hugh”
(in my most provocative, flirty voice)

Can you sing your song from Les Mis for me — “Bring Him Home” — because that is where this guy (refer to my Oscar) is going TONIGHT!

While I have your attention….Hughie,
(We’re getting to know each now.)
I LOVED when you hosted. I watched your opening number countless times on my DVR, until our hard drive space was full.
I had to delete you, but I will never forget.
(I wink at Hugh, and he smiles back and blows a kiss.)
(Hey, its my fake acceptance speech).

(I fan my face with my hand and take deep breath.)
I’d like thank my family first and foremost. My hilarious, impersonator hubby, my creative, witty boys, and my precious daughter who is our good luck token from Vegas. (I pause and giggle.) You all bring unending JOY to my world.

To my mom, and her adorable, nervous, happy energy that has passed onto me. (Here I motion with my arm and almost knock over the Oscar)You SEE!

To my Dad and Brother…you put the MURPH in Murphy’s Law, but my god what an ADVENTURE life is.

To my girlfriends & soul sistahs, you make me laugh till I cry and cry till I pee.
Yes, I’ve had three babies!
Seriously, you put the SANE back in my insanity moments…. your support is invaluable!

Thank you to social media for bringing the world closer together, for bringing my family across the country together, for inspiring moments, support and love. As long as my time is positive there, it is well invested.
P.S. #SMGirlfriends you ROCK!!!

To my adoring fans —
(Remember, this is my fake acceptance speech.)
We are ALL here because YOU go to the movies.
Thank you!!  fake oscar

To my cast, fellow cast-mates, directors, producers, and crew. You know who you are, and it’s all on the credits because of ALL that you did, you deserve the Credit. I will do some individual shout outs on Twitter later on!

(music starts playing)
Wait!! I’m forgetting someone…. Oh Jodie Foster. After hearing your words upon receiving your lifetime achievement award recently, you’re my idol. Someday, I hope that I will OWN myself the way that you do. I am such a big fan and…

(Music playing louder and drowns me out as I’m dragged offstage gripping Oscar.)
(Music stops. Then I rush back onstage.) Donny O Pam

Oh and …. Donny O….Yes you know the one. I thank you every year for putting a smile on my face since I was a little girl. Meeting you in VEGAS was a dream come true. Someday we can take a spin on the dance floor, now that you’ve won that mirrored trophy. In the words of your character in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
“ANY DREAM WILL DO.”
Yes.
(I hold up my Oscar.) Any dream WILL do. Thank you, thank you
(I do a very sincere, eloquent final curtsy.) THANK YOU!!!!
(I blow kisses and bop another curtsy, start walking away, then run back to the mic)

One more thing…Justin Timberlake….so glad you are BACK singing….

I saw you waving at me in 2011. Tell your mom, Hi! Can you say, JT concert? JT wave on TV

(Thunderous applause from the audience, as I bop my final curtsy and am carried off stage by Ben Affleck….) 😉

Okay, now it’s YOUR turn! And the winner is….

Heart “Beat”

"Heart" filled Sky“The heart.

The beat.

To start your feet….”

A couple of lyrics’s from on old song called, “That’s Dancing” by Henry Mancini. What I remember the most from dancing to that song is the beginning heartbeat….thumping….thumping….like the sound of a drum, along with the clickety, higher pitched sounds and rhythms from our tap shoes.
(In fact, I’m dancing some of those steps in my kitchen. Right. Now. Hey. It’s my floor.)

But this also made me think about our own internal “music.” That precious heartbeat that rhythmically travels through us and literally keeps us moving. Our hearts beat to different rhythms in each of us. It responds to our feelings and our activities, our thoughts and our movements.

Place your hand over your heart, over your child’s heart, over your parent’s heart. Stop. Listen. Feel it. Hear it. It’s a GIFT we carry around everyday. We literally owe our life to it in a physical way, yet if we listen in a soulful way….you can hear the whispers of LOVE….when your heart flutters at simple moments in your life.

On this Valentine’s Day, embrace your heart, your passion, your LOVE in whatever way YOU want.

Listen to the “heartbeat” of YOUR internal drum

Then DANCE!

The “Dance” of Life…. Your “First” Steps

“Firsts” are momentous, and they happen just once for each new experience. The list is common, yet unique to each of us.

First steps.  

First smile. First kiss. First heartbreak. 

First job. First car. First baby. First loss.

First ultrasound. First concert. 

First words.  

And, yes, first dance class….  

Excitement fills the air as little girls dressed in pink leotards, tights and tutus, with perhaps a flower in their hair, shuffle tentatively into the dance studio for the first time in their lives. Brand new ballet shoes in tow, many of these youngsters will find that the studio becomes a lifetime companion. The little ones look around with an infectious curiosity. Some leap right into action while others hang tight to mom or dad. 

Miss Pam (yours truly) greets each little one for the first time. Neither of us can know yet whether the teacher and student relationship will last for one session… or decades. For me, this first meeting is always a celebration. Teaching these precious soon-to-be dancers has taught and continues to teach me much about life, about me, and about firsts. I want to share these simple lessons of life with you and together we can celebrate our own “firsts.”

For instance, this is my “first” official blog. I am still learning the “steps” of a blog, but subsequent posts will be filled with thoughts in my head that keep me awake through the night. Dancing, motherhood, teaching dance and experiencing life through dance have provided me with a distinctive perspective on life. I invite you to share the journey.

The correlation between dance movements and those of day-to-day life is simple yet quite fascinating, in my opinion. As we begin class I instruct the girls and the occasional boy (have to get more boys involved) to stand on their tulips with feet together. I teach them how to turn their toes to either side and look down. To the new dancers it looks like a piece of cake or pizza, or at least that what I understand through their giggling. We reach down for our magic sparkles and toss them into the air and onto our feet to create our “twinkle toes.” 🙂 Some girls reach down to open their feet, some try, others need assistance, but at one moment they are all standing in first position, otherwise known as “kissing heels.” First position is a success! They will use it from this day forward each time they dance, as I secretly hope that the sparkles touch their hearts to let them shine from within….

Firsts can add anticipation, curiosity, a new hope or a new beginning to life, such as the first of the year or the first chapter of the book you’ve always wanted to write. I ask you to recall your firsts — good or bad, reflect on how you’ve learned from them. Are you using what you’ve learned to improve YOUR life? 

First dance. First time driving. First snow. First meeting. First book. First movie. First sunset. 

First phone. First birthday. First tooth.

That first precious look in a mirror…. Sigh ….

So many…. “Firsts.” 

For today’s final curtsy, I’d like to point out that the word ‘first’ is also correlated to its counterpart, the numeral ‘one.’ 

One. 

So simple, yet so complex. I believe that ONE person CAN make a difference. So take those FIRST steps in your life today. 

Be that ONE.

Be the FIRST.

“DANCE” through your life….

And watch what happens!