Saturday, September 10, 2005

Darryl's Dance Party

Al Ridley poses at Darryl's Dance Party

Friday night at the Blue Moon (Queen and Broadview) Darryl Gold held a dance party/get together as a pre-Hard Liquor and Porn Party event.

For me dancing is more a spectator sport than something I would participate in. Mainly due to dance fear stemming from "not knowing how to dance" mixed with the fear of self expression (on the dance floor). At times I would rather get a tooth extracted than have to dance. A tooth extracted might be a bit more painful but it's over quicker and it's not like you have to do anything.

When I was a kid, it must have been between grades 3 and 5, before I started mucking around with computers (maybe it was around the same time), I took recorder lessons. My parents made me. They had to coax me into taking weekly lessons by offering me two dollars so I could go across the street to the silver snail. Back then that amount of money could buy me six to eight comic books depending on if they were new or used.

Logistically the recorder is a great starter musical instrument. It's relatively inexpensive, portable, and doesn't make as much racket as a set of drums early in the morning. Unfortunately the recorder is a wind instrument. As a kid that had asthma I thought my parents were nuts. I could never play long sequences without wheezing.

As with all music lessons (that I knew of as a kid) it's inevitable that at some point you, the music student, will have to perform in front of a mass of people as part of a music recital. I didn't know this at the time and became pretty good at playing "hot crossed buns", "mary had a little lamb" and the theme to "Star Wars". When I heard about the recital a wave of fear hit me like a ton of bricks. There was no way I was going up on stage. NO WAY.

My parents tried to bribe me by offering to buy me a football. I remember this vividly because it seemed like a really bad bribe. I didn't play football. I didn't want to play football. I didn't even want to own a football. My apologies to all the Americans out there but street hockey was more popular when I was a kid.

Where the heck did this football intel come from? Who are these people (parents)? My Dad tried pushing me toward the stage entrance I think I burst out crying. It think it was my mom that eventually said "You don't have to go.". Yes, she was the smart one.

All the way through high school the thought of public speaking was terrifying. Book reports, english essays, reciting Shakespeare, french classes. I stressed about all that stuff. Instead of taking music lessons I went into art class. It wasn't until doing a speech in university for a geography course that I managed to overcome my fear of being in front of a group of people.

Over time and a bunch of other presentations I've had to do I've manged to get over the whole stage fright thing. They say that if you imagine the people in front of you naked it's a way to get you through the stage fright. For me, just knowing what the heck you're talking about is good enough.

My dance fear is a lot like being afraid of public speaking/performing when I was young (minus the crying). I'll have to take dance classes some day.

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