Friday, March 22, 2013


After playing with many variations on titles for this particular post, this was the best I could do. While it is not particularly descriptive, I feel quite confident that by the end of our journey today, you'll understand exactly what I meant.

Every year, the 4th graders at Maggie's school participate in a multi-school dance project called Minds in Motion. (If you recall, Morrigan did this a few years back.) This year, due to job changes or funding or some administrative change, it became Dance Espanol. Now Maggie has been complaining about the 45 minutes a week this takes all year. She fussed about the dancing and whatever day practice was, that was her least favorite day of the week. She claimed to be a terrible dancer and said this was pointless. Truth be told, she sounded so much like her sister did prior to her own performance that I assumed after the show, Maggie would have a similar change of heart.

Last night was the big show. Upon arrival, I was puzzled by the program, which was "Dance Espanol: 1863 The Commemoration." Spanish dance and the Civil War. Right. They go together like, say, hula dancing and the War of 1812. But what do I know? Last time the whole dancing to save the Chesapeake Bay thing sort of worked. My mind was going to remain as open as possible.

My mind had a tough night.

First, there was Abe Lincoln who, somewhere along the way, has developed a southern accent. Here - see for yourself!

I realize that we live in the south but you couldn't find any transplant with a semblance of a northern accent? Or faked one for goodness sake. Tim and I can both do passing southern accents. Surely someone here can do the reverse. But we'll let that go since the director, Mr. Pedro, is not of this land and there is a chance he can't hear the difference.

As the show progressed, it quickly became apparent that my doubt in the link between Spanish dance and the Civil War was justified. The various acts, entitled 1863, North and South, Life in the South, The Underground Railroad etc, were neither set to Spanish sounding music nor contained Latin type dance moves. Maggie did tell me later that at practice, they learned the names of the moves they were doing in Spanish which, sadly, does not show up in the actual performance, leaving the audience mystified about the supposed connection.

I'm guessing in this era of multi-culturalism, Dance Espanol is a much easier sell that "we'll be doing a bunch of strange modern dance moves to Hit the Road Jack and Fire Burning on the Dance Floor."

In spite of my open (I promise) mind, it was just bizarre. There was Life in the South where some children, I think, were cotton and others were, well, I'm not really sure what. You decide.

And the finale which contained both The Sprinkler and The Wave. Think those are Salsa moves?

It really never made much sense. So when I saw an online article in the local paper about it, I thought, the answer must be there. I am surely missing something. Whether or not the connection is ever properly explained, I may never know because upon clicking on the link, there was this picture of Mr. Pedro, the dance instructor, who was, for reasons unfathomable, shirtless.

We're going to need your headshot. 
Quick, off with that shirt!

Seriously, this was in the paper. It's not an "I need to call the school board" moment but it really is a whiskey-tango-foxtrot one.

But did the kids enjoy it, seeing as that's what it is all about. In Maggie's case, not so much. It was, I am told, long and boring and dinner "sucked." To top it off, Mags' assessment of her dance skills was pretty much spot on.

At least it is over.

Post script: I feel the wee-est bit bad mocking Mr. Pedro because I've met him a few times and he is a really nice guy but then again, with material like this, I can't help it. Also, in the strictly-of-interest-for-the-grandparents department, the other two dances Maggie was in are posted below for your viewing pleasure!

1 comment:

  1. Good lord, now I know why Jack was speechless when he came home on Friday and I asked him about this Spanish Dance field trip. He was appalled that there were so many historical inaccuracies about the Civil War, but other than that, he could not explain what the heck the thing was all about. Bizarre!!! And that shirtless head shot is creepy!!!