Weekend Extravadance

IMG_2501My daughter is a trooper.

After the ballroom dance team drama last fall where she was denied a spot on the advanced team because she’s a size ten and not a two, she still wanted to go to the Gem State Classic ballroom dance competition in Rexburg, Idaho again to support her friends.

A good friend of mine was taking her two dancing kids up, so Madi and I tagged along for two consecutive days of sitting on bleachers for eight hours straight to be ballroom dance groupies.

I got a serious case of numbum.

But the dancing was awesome!

There were twice as many kids in the competition this year than last year. The ballroom craze continues to grow, probably thanks to shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.

I know watching those shoes have fostered fantasies my own of someday shaking my booty with Mark or Derek, unless the invitation doesn’t come until I’m over sixty and then I hope someone who loves me will stop me from accepting so I won’t be the crazy, pathetic, old lady on the show whom Tony has to coddle through the competition for pity votes.

Anyhoo, I admit, the competition wasn’t quite as fun to watch without my offspring in it, but several of my friends’ kids were dancing so I cheered them on. (I secretly booed for the chick who took my daughter’s place on the team even though it wasn’t her fault, and gave her former coaches subtle crusties from afar.)

I bumped into my cousin who has three kids who have recently become ballroom dancers. One of them is his 6’3″ buff son who gave up football his senior year to dance. A girl friend of his wanted to dance and since there is usually more interest by girls than boys, the team coaches require girls to bring a partner with them to join.

My 2nd cuz loved football, but after playing for five years and knowing he wasn’t going to go on to play for college, he decided to try something new, so he agreed.

His football buddies thought he was nuts until he qualified his choice this way, “You guys spend your time tackling sweaty, stinky guys while I hold hot chicks close who are batting their eyes and shaking their hips at me. Now who’s nuts?”

He danced with all the finesse of a linebacker, but he was darling and looked like he was having a blast. It was nice to see a big guy out on the dance floor since it seems like ballroom dance tends to attract guys with Peter Pan physiques.

Speaking of physiques, my friend and I tried to help ours recover from all the bleacher sitting and junk food consuming by sneaking up to Island Park for a couple of hours Saturday morning to go cross country skiing.

We had a little glitch when the skis I borrowed didn’t fit the boots I rented and my friend, who is a more experience skier than I am, insisted on taking the brunt of my equipment malfunction by skidding along on my skis without being hooked in. I don’t think we burned very many calories with our legs at the crippled pace we kept, but we flapped our jaws at an aerobic rate which hopefully burned off a few Swedish Fish.

It was beautiful there!

We saw ducks and swans floating down the shimmering river and padding across the frozen lake. We stopped at the “warming cabin” at the end of the trail for some hot chocolate, but we forgot to bring along fifty cents and the cabin guide bitty was far from feeling generous. A $13 park entry fee doesn’t include a cup of hot chocolate?

We hurried back to the competition in time to catch the best part: the cabaret dances. My friend’s son was dancing and he and his partner totally killed it! They took first place.

After the cabaret section was over, I admit, my interest level was seriously waning and my whiney hiney had had it. There were still several more hours of competition left and it was after 5 p.m. I was all for being supportive of my daughter, her friends, my friends and their kids, but my generosity and spinal stamina do have limits.

I suddenly remembered my sister from Colorado was coming through Rexburg to visit her BYUI-student son on her way to Utah for spring break. I made a quick phone call hoping I’d somehow catch her in time to snag a ride.

I was in luck!

She was just filling up at a gas station about to leave Rexburg when I caught her. Whew, just in time! I told her I’d  be ready and waiting outside. I grabbed Madi and we parked ourselves on top of our suitcases out by the road.

Madi said we looked like hobos.

I decided she was right, so I milked the situation.

I grabbed a piece of paper and a marker out of Madi’s backpack, made a “Will Work For Food” sign and held it up as I shlumped pathetically over our bags.

Madi moved away from me.

A sympathetic lady stopped and ask if we needed help.

When my sister pulled up, she laughed.

Her teenage daughter who was in the car said, “Now I know where you get it from, Mom.”

As Moms, we live for our kids—to support them, love them, laugh with them, cry with them, secretly boo their dance team replacements for them, alter our spines for them, and embarrass them.

Last weekend, I got to do all of the above.

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