Leotards, tights, tap shoes, ballet slippers and spending two hours every Saturday at the Turning Point dance studio in North Miami – this was my childhood. As I neared the teenage years and wanted to try other things I still practiced on my own and choreographed my own dances. One of my dances was to Opposites Attract by Paula Abdul. I’ve always enjoyed dancing.
The next opportunity to dance came in ninth grade. I met my closest high school friends by chance. We all landed at the same lunch table on the first day of school. We were a shy bunch and for the first few months Thursdays were the only day we actually had conversations because we would talk about what happened on 90210. Everything changed because of PE. We were assigned to choreograph a dance and perform it in class. Five of us met at Debbie’s house one weekend and created a dance to Janet Jackson’s Escapade. The dance was the catalyst for the many weekends and sleepovers that we shared throughout high school.
The first time I visited Round Up was about six years ago. I went with a friend from work and for days prior to going we cracked jokes about meeting cowboys there. I wish I could remember what I expected Round Up to be like. I didn’t listen to country music then and I had never seen Urban Cowboy to know anything about line dancing. What I do remember is seeing everyone dancing and wondering how in the world they knew the steps to so many dances. I tried mimicking the dancers movements from my bar stool to see if I could figure it out, but it was a lot to absorb. Every song had its own dance!
A few years later, the firefighter calendar signing brought me back to Round Up. My cousins were visiting and we squeezed this event into our busy schedule of sunning ourselves at the beach and consuming large amounts of cheesecake. At Round Up we partied on ladies night and watched the firefighters strutting across the dance floor. I also learned a dance that night. It was for Kid Rock’s All Summer Long. Even though I danced when I was younger it was a challenge to get my feet to do what they were supposed to do.
I started going to Round Up more often after that and then I started listening to country music because I wanted to be familiar with the songs for the dances I was learning. And that is how I started dancing.
How did you start dancing?