Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dancing in Space

by Stephanie Black

I’m scared silly for Mutual tonight. We’re doing line dancing and EFY-style dancing. This wouldn’t be bad, except that I’m one of the people who is supposed to know how to do this EFY dancing so I can help teach it. Our stake recently started a program where the wards combine for Mutual activities, two wards in one building and three in another. So there I’ll be, folks, klutz of the year, trying to help teach the Young Women and Young Men from three wards how to do the Peanut Butter and Jelly. Oy.

I’m hoping I can just shrink into the background and let my wonderful secretary and Laurel advisor teach the dancing. They’ve both taught line dancing before and, unlike me, are not possessed of two left feet and all the sense of direction of a marble in a blender.

I have no feel for dancing. Oh, I can get out there and move to the beat like we used to do at teen dances in the days of long ago, back when young Rob Wells was still clutching his blankie and watching Barney (last year). But when it comes to actual dance steps . . . I can learn them, but I don’t have a knack for it. As a teenager, I was at a dance at a senior center and this friendly old fellow wanted to dance with me. “Just follow me,” he advised, but I’ve never had an inkling of how to follow a dance partner. Can’t we just dance the Deacon Shuffle?

As I think I’ve confessed here before, I’m spacially-challenged. If something requires spacial skills, chances are I stink at it. Like map reading. I picture a teensy little van on the little line on the map. . . okay, I’m going this direction, so when I get to this point that will be . . . um . . . let’s see, I’m on the right side of the road, so that will be . . .um . . . a left turn? And so on. Fortunately, I rarely use maps anymore because I just Google or MapQuest up directions. And then there’s the GPS navigator thing that works through my husband’s Palm Pilot, though I can still get lost with that. My interaction with the navigating thingie goes like this:

Navigator (in a cultured British voice): “In 800 yards, turn left.”
Me: “How the heck am I supposed to know how far 800 yards is?” (panicking and making the turn too early)
Navigator: (recalculating route). “In 50 yards, turn right”)
Me: (Estimating fifty yards. Driving onto somebody’s lawn)

So today, I’ll be on the BYU website, trying learn the EFY Peanut Butter and Jelly and the Baha-something-or-other so I won’t be too useless tonight.

Maybe we could do the Hokey-Pokey instead. That's my backup plan.


At 4/18/2007 2:09 PM, Anonymous Rob Wells said...

No line dancing is complete without the Electric Slide, so you'd better include that one.

I've never in my life heard of the Peanut Butter and Jelly, though, admittedly, I'm a worse dancer than you. Trust me.

At 4/18/2007 3:45 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I would't know the Electric Slide from a slide rule. See how clueless I am?

But the good news is I talked to our secretary and hooray, she's got everything under control and knows the dances and will teach them and I don't have to worry. I'll just try to learn enough from the instructional video so I don't make a complete fool out of myself, though some would argue that it's too late to avoid that.

At 4/18/2007 4:19 PM, Anonymous rob wells said...

Yes, I would argue that.

At 4/18/2007 8:33 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

This from a guy who goes door to door, begging casseroles.

At 4/18/2007 9:08 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Any chance you could post the links to the dances you mentioned finding on the BYU site? I'm curious.

Oh, the Electric Slide is a classic. (boogie woogie woogie) Hey, there's always the Macarena, right? And the Boot Scoot Boogie. *tries to remember the line dances we did back then. Sniff. Feeling a bit nostalgic.*

What I can't imagine, is a group of people doing the Thriller dance, like in 13 Going on 30. I mean, honestly.

That would be a fun activity - I'm actually somewhat better at line dancing than I am at Dance Dance Revolution (at which I'm not very good.)


At 4/19/2007 1:32 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Here's the link to the BYU EFY line dancing instruction. This page will give you instructions for how to download the instructional video.

Our activity tonight went really well--hooray! And I didn't have to teach anything at all. Our instructors and youth did a great job.


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