What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
My parents came over to the United States in 1967, a couple of months before I was born. I don’t know where my mother found the courage to leave her entire family while very pregnant with her first child to come to the United States, not speaking the language, but she found it. I know that my great aunt (Tantine Georgette) was a source of great comfort and introduced my parents to many of her friends, that was a huge help. It was those friends that became my mother’s best friends for the years down the road. My father was a very outgoing and easy going person, so for him it wasn’t such a traumatic move, but for my mother, I can barely imagine how it must have felt, I do know that my Tantine Georgette was a lifeline and the friends that she introduced into my parent’s universe made our lives wonderful because they were all French and it made our little circle feel as if France was always nearby.
My parents and their friends had the best dinner parties and after all of the food was eaten, the party moved away from the dinner table and onto the dance floor, which at whoever’s house the party was held at, was inevitably the living room. The records were sorted out and out came the samba, the rhumba, the tango, the waltz and the slow dances and even though these were my earliest memories of dance and music; it doesn’t mean that I was a bystander, I was out in the middle of the dance floor and getting my first dance lessons from my father and my father’s friends.
I especially loved dancing with my father, he always sang to the Platter’s, “Only You” was one of his favorite’s as was “The Great Pretender”, that was another one. When he taught me the tango, he always hummed to the beat while we danced and that helped me keep count with him without actually counting, his sounds kept the steps and the music in time, all in my head, it felt right and I didn’t have to think about it, just follow my father.
I miss those days.