Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

I once got to hear Oliver and Rachel DeMille speak about the remnancy of today's culture. This is the feeling we sometimes get that we are the only ones seeking for what is good and wholesome. Oliver explained that we overcome this by reaching out and creating a tribe and community. He then said that the best way to bind a community is to go dancing, just like the dancing traditions in ancient tribes. It's amazing what happens to people as the night goes on and the music keeps up with a dancing beat. People get relaxed and start showing a side of themselves they don't show every day. Differences of opinion, petty grievances and unfounded prejudices melt away when we get all glamourous and have fun with our neighbors. (Can you hear the title track from Footloose coming on?)

I have been so thrilled that in the past five years that I've been involved in the homeschooling community since moving here, we've been to several formal balls. My son and daughter's ballroom dance teacher puts on a holiday ball every year between Christmas and New Year's. Last year one of my homeschooling girlfriends commented the next day at a homeschooling moms' luncheon "Wow, I've never seen Johnny do that, that was amazing," to Johnny's mom.

It's a lot of fun for moms and daughters to plan together what they are going to wear and how they are going to style their hair. Every year in the past I have felt bad that I haven't taken much thought or time to plan with my daughter and left her to her own devices and the results are not as elegant as I end up wanting. After last year's Family Ball at the TJED forum I thought, "Next year will be different, I will take some time to learn to do something new with her hair." So this year I remembered and had the mom of one of her commonwealth school classmates come over to teach us how to do updos. Maybe I will post the pictures of our beautiful hair that Amy styled up soon.

Going to a ball reminds me of something out of Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Cinderella. When I was young, dances at church and school were very disappointing. They were more like "stands" with most kids standing around talking. I always had this fantasy that I would walk into the ball like Cinderella or Drew Barrymore in "Ever After," dazzle everybody, and get swept off my feet by a dashing Prince Charming at the ball. Well, that never happened. When I saw the dance scene in Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley I thought, "Now that looks fun! That's something I wish I had been able to attend as a young woman!" Lots of elegance and lots of heart-pumping fun all mixed together.

I am so happy that people like Diann Jeppson, Diane Hopkins of Latter-day Family Resouces (ldfr.com) and Tricia Leslie organize formal balls to provide an alternative to "stands." They ask instructors to come and teach the youth how to actually do something besides the dreaded moving from one foot to the other side to side. These kids actually learn how to waltz and fox trot. At the Family Ball coming up at the TJED Forum, there is a live band. The big ballroom is where most people congregate, and then a smaller room offers instruction throughout the night. IT's a TON of fun! Even my rowdy little boys love it. I hope to see some of you there. Come even if you don't homeschool. Come even if you don't like to dance just so you can visit with me. It's this Saturday, March 20, from 6:30 to 11:30 PM at the SLC Hilton downtown. Go to tjedmarketplace.com to register. See you there!

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