Tag Archives: Dancing

Dancing On



Dancing On

Cheek to cheek and toe to toe,
whenever graceful dancers go
smoothly passing while I stand by
feet motionless, with dancing eye,
jealousy may rear her head
as I wish that it were me, instead—
held securely in my partner’s arms,
guided surely away from harms
of other dancers’ straying feet
or jutting elbows I might meet.

Steered through dangers into bliss,
barely meeting the floor’s long kiss
as I soar and bend and sway and glide,
giving way to what’s inside,
the music comes to live in me
setting all that’s in me free,
stirring sadness at my core
and leaving it upon the floor
for other dancers to kick away
while only light parts choose to stay
within my heart as I dance on
from dark of night into the dawn.

I might feel sorry, sitting there,
no arms around me—only air.
Then I remember in the past
dancing nights I thought would last—
how all those partners have stepped away—
even the ones I hoped would stay.

Life has a way of leaving us
like hopeful riders passed by the bus
as it soars away with no seat left,
those left behind feeling bereft.
Then I look deeper and clearly see
one day that bus will stop for me.
Something heavy grows inside
where it’s not good for it to bide.
I scoot back my chair to shift that stone,
as I get up and dance alone.


This is a reblog of a poem written two years ago.The prompt was dancing.

First Steps

First Steps

Blushing cheeks and fluttered lashes,
cotton frocks with satin sashes.
That first dance, paired with a boy,
equal parts of fear and joy.
Sweaty palms and faltering feet.
A different style, each boy you meet.
Shyness, then—a major dose.
Terror he’ll hold you too close,
then, affronted when he doesn’t.
Wrong when he was and when he wasn’t
romantic in that pre-teen way,
as forward as that time of day
permitted, with your parents there.
Beaded foreheads, scraggly hair.
School dances never missed.
Holding hands, but never kissed.
Except one time, when cheek-to-cheek,
that butterfly kiss, furtive and meek.
Eyes met for just a moment, then,
to celebrate your mutual sin.
Oh the terrors and the joys
Of school dances and touching boys!

This is the second poetry challenge that resulted when Carol from the Relax blog posted a poem about her kittens that had an opening two lines I loved. Her poem veered off completely from those two lines, so I challenged her to write a new poem that centered around the opening lines. I did the same, but one of her images prompted a new prompt. This time I “dared” her to write a poem about butterfly kisses. She accepted the dare but said me first, so here it is. Carol, your turn. Post a link, please, after you’ve written your poem. When will this end?  If anyone else cares to join in, you are most welcome. The prompt is “butterfly kiss.” 

Campamento Estrella, Day 2, 2016

The camp went wonderfully today.  The kids belted out the two camp songs they were a bit shy about yesterday, their masks turned into nearly completed masterpieces, our wonderful camp counselors, one of whom I discovered today is a mere sophomore in high school, were helpful and dedicated and came up with some good ideas of their own.  The dance numbers are coming together and I think you’ll see by the photos below that the kids are having a wonderful time. We even had a few strollers-by, attracted by the music and laughter, come in and force money on us to help with next year’s camp.  One blogger also requested that I tell where donations may be made and although my intention is not to treat my blog as a fundraiser, the friend who is handling the fundraising does have a paypal account established.  Donations from the U.S. may be made via Paypal to jeredepaul@yahoo.com     It is important that you send them in the  friend or family category so we don’t have to pay a fee to Paypal. 

If you click on the first photo and then on the right hand side of each photo that comes up, you can see all of these full-sized and read the captions.

Partying 50’s and 60’s Style

When I was in the eighth grade, I had a party for 8th and 7th graders in our big unfinished basement. We must have borrowed the chairs and screens from the Methodist church, as I recognize the ugly screens in these photos. I wonder what we were hiding behind them? Possibly water pumps used to pump water out of the basement during a snow melt the winter before, although I doubt that was a problem as a year later, I spent the summer tiling and painting this basement. I remember my dad having to jack up the house a bit as he increased the height of the foundations when the ground settled one year, so perhaps this was going on at that time.

At any rate, my party was held before the gentrification of our basement took place, and it was a big deal. All the boys’ mothers were calling to see if it would be chaperoned and there were big discussions about whether it was appropriate to have a girl/boy party. The coach demanded that all the boys had to leave by 10 o’clock as they were in training for basketball and had a curfew. It was the only boy/girl party anyone ever had the whole time I was in junior high and high school, other than school parties where we played games but didn’t dance much.

The 7th and 8th grades were in the same room with the same teacher, who was also the grade school principal and the junior high basketball coach. (That’s his picture sitting in the stands at a district tournament with Jeff Sanderson sitting behind him.) While he taught one grade, the other one had study time and vice versa–– all in one big room. It was interesting to hear your entire 8th grade curriculum while you were in the 7th grade, so by the next year it sort of felt like a rerun, or deja vu.

I’m dancing with Alan Rada in most of these photos. He was a year younger than me and seemed to know what he was doing on the dance floor. I am wearing a different dress in the photos of the earlier part of the evening not because I was a fashionista with too wide a choice to limit myself to one garment per evening, but because I split out the underarm of my first dress when I was spun by an overzealous partner during a jitterbug. In fact, I think the girls were teaching most of the guys to dance at this party.

The two older somewhat sinister looking girls are my sister and her friend Dianne, who were recruited to chaperone, I guess. Since my sister Patti, on the left, was the one who taught me to dance, perhaps she was there to see that we were teaching the boys to dance correctly.

The boy with the crew cut wearing glasses is my across the street neighbor Billy Sorenson.  The little guy who looks like he is about to slap Henrietta Oldenkamp on the butt is Keith Weigandt. Don’t you love all the girls in party dresses, bobby sox and white tennis shoes? We were soooooo cool. (Well, they were.  I wore nylons and one inch heels.How ordinary of me.) This must have been 1959 or 60.

(When I took my doll collection out of my room, my mother decided to put it out in the hall.  Guess which one of us never grew up?  She must have taken this photo of me before the guests arrived because this is the dress that ripped out under the arm during a too-ambitious dance move.)



Double Snap!

Double Snap!

“Clap hands,” they said, “Clap hands
to the music,” and we all obeyed
that 50’s and 60’s band
that we might have followed anywhere–
out the door and across the street into the ocean
like geriatric children following a Pied Piper.


As we had when the music was new,
we gyrated and sweated,
bumped hips, jitterbugged,
did swing and wild improvisation


at Palapa Joe’s.
Joe himself barefoot at the keyboard,

a bookend to Denise at the drums.
And we? We are as hot
as this February night.

“Oh to be young again” is not in anyone’s vocabulary,
for we are teenagers again below the Tropic of Cancer.
In the ocean or in front of it,
sipping the sunset from tiny cobalt glasses,


watching children move toy trucks down sandy roads
of their imagination

Version 2

and teenagers elfin in the surf.


The sun falling falling farther northwards every day
until that March day we waited for every year when it sank
directly behind the offshore island.

Snap. It is gone.
Double snap. So are we.


Here’s more of a photo story about Palapa Joe’s if you are interested:

The NaPoWriMo prompt was “double” and the WordPress prompt was “snap” so I combined them today…Here are links to those prompt sites in case you want to play along:

Happy Birthday Marjorie Pauline

Marjorie Pauline is my very dear friend, fellow writer, enthusiastic walker and dance partner.  When I’m at the beach, she is the one who pulls me out to dance twice a week, and if she had her “druthers,” it would be three times. She has done the 500 mile Camino walk in Spain three times–including  last year, when she did it to celebrate her 80th birthday, so her daily 5 to 10 mile walks on the beach when she is in La Manzanilla are nothing in comparison.

Above all, she is a social person, so it came as no surprise when we went to her favorite dancing spot, Palapa Joe’s, to celebrate her 81st birthday on February 12, that a margarita was put in her hand the minute she walked in the door, that her favorite band member greeted her as “Mom” and that people started coming to the table with cards and gifts.  But when the band struck up a tune, all else faded away.  “C’mon, let’s dance!” she demanded and away we went to dance every dance where she wasn’t recruited by one or another male friend.

Yes, the band sang “Happy Birthday,” the kitchen staff presented her with a Hostess Cupcake birthday cake and friends presented gag gifts. But the best part of the entire evening for the birthday girl was, as always, the dance!!!!

(Click on first picture to view a slideshow of all photos in enlarged format with captions.)



Wild Nights Out

Wild Nights “Out”

When we are young we brag and flout
our exciting evenings out,
but later on the joys of gin
start to wear our patience thin.
Lately, though I still go dancing,
I find an hour or two of prancing
is quite enough to slake my thirst;
and I must confess the worst.
When it comes to nights of sin,
my most exciting nights are “in!”

The Prompt:  Tell us about your most exciting night out lately. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/saturday-night/