insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child

Mimicry

Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]

ad-sample

Advertise Here

I cannot dance. I look like a mannequin, strung up like a marionette and attached with a chain to a rusty, unreliable lawnmower, which determines my movements and is always rolling over bumpy ground. I can write entertainment columns, academic articles, …...

[ Swap Article ]

Re-gifting

Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

0
Accident web button

Filed Under , , on April 11th, 2015

Stumbling Into Dancing

By Seth Kabala

I cannot dance. I look like a mannequin, strung up like a marionette and attached with a chain to a rusty, unreliable lawnmower, which determines my movements and is always rolling over bumpy ground.

I can write entertainment columns, academic articles, and even sketch comedy with a degree of acumen. I can put on my aristocratic operatic hat and deliver a flawless rendition of The Lord’s Prayer or a weirdly pious version of Livin’ on a Prayer. Also at a professional level, I can play piano, arrange music, and wax a floor (college job). At a hobby level, I can golf (shot an eagle once in 20 years of play, so the dream is alive!), juggle, and serve as a Lemming. Let me explain.

I met my wife, Amy, while I was a piano-vocal performance major participating in Black Hawk College’s show-choir. This sounds glamorous. It sounds as though we had to endure a rigorous audition process, overcome our nerves and outperform our rivals, backstabbing and/or literally stabbing the competition, slandering the competition, libeling the competition, all in an effort to come out on top and be a star. Allow me to disabuse you of the glamorous notion.

The reality was simple. You showed up. You got in. Boom. Small town proponents of their communities’ impact on the larger world say, “What?!”

Through some shenanigans between my then-only-acquaintance Amy and her choreographer friend, Marlissa, Amy and I ended up as partners, and we danced together, and we got married. (And I’m just now realizing I was suckered into the whole thing. … Meh.) But before all that, I learned the steps. I didn’t feel a creative groove; I simply learned the steps and performed them on the day of the show, thus achieving the status of a Lemming.

I love musicals–mainly the singing, but also the choreography. When planned and performed well, it produces a magical feeling that enters my heart and inspires my soul–to do something other than dancing, because I suck at it. Amy has, over the years, suggested we take ballroom dancing lessons. I’ve come up with several excuses–we’re too busy, costs too much–but the truth is: I’m mortified that, outside the confines of carefully choreographed steps, I’ll morph into the marionette I mentioned and either hilariously entertain or terrify all those in attendance.

Also in truth, if I spend a good amount of time (say, hours a day for weeks on end) studying a particular activity, I tend to acquire at least passing amateur skills sufficient to receive a polite nod instead of a facial contortion of revulsion. So I know I stand a good chance of moving past Elaine’s jutting thumbs, but I’ve never felt a strong pull to learn.

Until recently.

I lift weights in our basement. Whenever I do, Ella, our three-year-old daughter, often follows me down and plays with stuffed animals while I’m doing my best to pretend I’m still 21 and pop my head off while pushing the bar. I listen to music while I lift, and Ella often dances to the music. On this occasion, though, she’d had enough of going solo.

She marched up to me and said, “I’m a girl and you’re a boy, so we can dance together.” And we danced. I managed to recall some of the show choir moves and showed her the rotating step-left, step-right, twirl, and dip. I’d often wondered where the expression grinning ear-to-ear came from.

Now I know.

And lessons are mandatory.

 

FacebookGoogle+PinterestRedditTwittertumblrEmail



Leave a Reply





Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Open and closed recycle brown carton delivery packaging box.

The Unboxing

Shortly after moving to Portland, I asked our office administrative specialist to order me a footrest. I asked for the footrest for a practical reason: lower back pressure relief. I have a stand-up desk. This works well to get my stand hours in during the day--Apple faithful, you know what I'm...

[ Swap Article ]

God character working on telemarketing vector illustration. Telemarketing, sales, business, marketing design concept

Let there Be Devices

We have over a dozen devices now, and the number is only going to grow from here. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Money eye bottle soda water isolated on mascot

Hydrating Water

Phil wasn't sure what caused his muscles to dehydrate and shrivel up into jerky encased in skin, but he understood the aftermath. His career was over. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Einstein - Think

You're Smart

We were talking around the dinner table about what it means to get a college degree. I said you pass a bunch of tests, and then they give you a piece of paper that says you're smart. I finished my explanation saying employers can rely on that piece of paper as evidence that you're smart. Anna, 11,...

[ Swap Article ]

Madre Greater than Padre

Madre > Padre

A couple weeks ago, Amy diagnosed and changed out all three fuses that controlled electrical flow to the outlets in our car. Super sexy. Super cool. When I say that Amy did it, I don't mean that I was standing on the sidelines, guiding hands and helping words coaching her to a successful solution. I...

[ Swap Article ]

Ben Comedy Main Headshot 2019 Lego Tshirt Hi Res_May 2019 Profile Piece

An Interview with Ben Rosenfeld (feature)

Acceptance and Current Events ...

[ Swap Article ]

Cartoon stick figure drawing conceptual illustration of angry man or businessman targeting with antique cannon ready to fire.

Bolt-Action Cannonball Sack

"Can you do the bolt-action cannonball sack?" Ella asked me today during bedtime. She was trying to remember the name of the move I do when I toss her over my shoulder and then flip her onto the bed. (I call it the fireman’s carry/toss.) Earlier, she was playing Fortnite with Will and must have...

[ Swap Article ]

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

Time Traveling Titan

At Toastmasters last week, the theme was National Velociraptor Awareness Day (a real thing). During Table Topics, one of the questions was this: describe your experience finding the first velociraptor claw. Tonight, the whole family is going to watch Avengers: Endgame. In the spirit of honoring the...

[ Swap Article ]

Grunge green accepted word round rubber seal stamp on white background

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #21

On Easter Sunday afternoon, we took our kids to a trampoline/obstacle course park, but not just any ordinary park. This wasn't a collection of four-feet-across questionable exercise equipment in the trailer park's social activities room. (If we cobble together a bunch of small trampolines, we could...

[ Swap Article ]

Mad scientist holding up a test tube

Ammo Arms (part one)

...

[ Swap Article ]

Set, collection of colorful socks icons with different ornaments isolated on white background.

Waiting for Sock

Think about stuff you need to get you through your day. Does coffee come to mind? Of course it does. For millions of Americans and billions of people around the world, coffee, in its various forms, is a daily ritual. Not just a daily ritual--an hourly fix, as in you need to grab more black sludge...

[ Swap Article ]

????????????????????????????????????????

Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]