I’m never gonna dance again

When I was 5, the kids from the neighborhood made me an honorary member of Saturn Soul – a breakdancing gang that performed at birthday parties. They made me a shirt that spelled out my full name vertically, from the collar to the bottom seam, in red felt letters. On the back, with the same red felt, it said Saturn Soul and I never felt cooler. I had one staple move: The Backspin – and I was awesome at it. One day, during practice, I jumped in the middle of the cardboard to do my move, but I got tangled up with a 14-year-old Igor Reyes who was in the middle of a windmill.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. Just a little ego bruising from the fall, and the subsequent scolding by both my brother and my mother.

They didn’t understand the power music had over my feet. That once I heard Shannon’s “Let the Music Play,” there was no controlling me. I didn’t care about the dangers of Igor’s legs doubling as baseball bats and hitting me 10 feet into the backyard. I just wanted to dance.

Three decades later, the dancing affliction has not subsided. It’s gotten worse, actually. I dance on the roofs of cars, on table tops, in grocery stores, and in offices. And, I’ve upgraded my signature Backspin to the Powerslide – which, again I’m awesome at. And by awesome I mean effectively bruising and rug-burning my knees.

But, in a recent gross miscalculation of my ability to slide to Gangnam Style, I have come to realize that this signature move must also be retired.


After reviewing my performance, I think where I went wrong was sliding in a turkey costume. First, it’s not the most figure flattering outfit one can wear, and second, the faux-felt, highly-flammable material made it really difficult to control the slide. Hell, I’m lucky I only injured my knee, the friction from the slide could’ve sparked a flame resulting in a – wait for it – smoked turkey.

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work (marianeladearmas.com) and travel (alittlecubangoesalongway.com) and sometimes do both.

3 thoughts on “I’m never gonna dance again

  1. Did you really break your knee doing this dance move?! I also gave up my dancing career – at 7- when my petticoat slip broke underneath my Spanish Fiesta costume during a Cinco de Mayo dance at school. But trooper that I was, I let the slip fall to the ground, stepped over it, and continued the tango I was dancing. I so respect that you also kept on dancing even after your mishap. In spite of he pain, you just kept clucking. You are a total professional!

    1. Are you kidding, you’re the professional, turning the Tango into the seductive dance it was meant to be at such a young age! No, I didn’t break it, just sprained it pretty badly. I’m sure I’ll be back on my feet in time for Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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