Friday, February 15, 2013


I am lucky to be a person of many varied talents. I have a number of skills and talents that some would consider impressive. I think I am at least passingly fair at most of them. I can cook, I write, I can design and make costumes, I act, and I am sure I am forgetting something. Still that is a pretty impressive list when you sit down and think about it.

For as many things I am good at though, I am equally bad at other things. I am in no way musically inclined for example. I sing very badly. I mean I am not going to make dogs howl when I sing along with the radio, but I would most certainly be that painful American Idol audition that the judges and the public mock.

I also can't play any musical instruments. I just lack in things like a natural sense of rhythm that are sort of important to playing music. I took piano lessons for years as a kid and I don't think I was ever anything but passable. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but it just was not something I was any good at despite wanting to be.

Going along with a lack of rhythm I have a complete lack of natural grace, which means dancing is right out. In fact most physical activities are not in my wheel house. I suck at sports, though I honestly never wanted to be good at sports. Dancing was something I actually wanted to be good at.

When I was a very little girl I can remember taking ballet and tap classes. I loved putting on my tights and my tap shoes and just giving it my all. I think I was too young to really grasp the fact that I completely sucked. I believe my teacher finally told my mother to find me something I was more suited for, preferably something that did not involve moving. A little harsh I guess, but it really was true.

When I got to college I took a stage movement class as part of my core theater work. We covered all sorts of things including a lot of different dance styles. I was passable in most of them, and by passable I mean my teacher didn't flunk me on the section. When we got to tap though I was struggling so much because while I could get the motions right I couldn't get the sound right.

I think a lack or rhythm is worst for tap dancing than most any other sound. I am expected to move and make sound at the same time. We already covered my lack of musical ability so you can imagine how frustrating this was for me. There were tears involved at least once.

I spent that section in a group of students who were referred to as 'remedial'. I can't tell you how incredibly discouraging that is. I mean I already knew I sucked, but now I am being labeled as sucking. Again it was a little harsh but for the best. We were slowing down the rest of the class. Hell I am pretty sure I was slowing down the remedial kids.

When it came time to test for the section we were allowed to test in groups of equal skill. I can remember my teacher actually stopping me short and giving me the nicest smile saying "Really that is close enough. Just stop." I think she was trying to avoid me bursting into tears. I passed simply because I never gave up trying and she recognized that I was never going to be able to do what I was supposed to be doing.

While I would love to be able to play an instrument or be able to sing, I think if I had to choose a talent to have it would be dance. I mean not being any good at it doesn't stop me from flailing about like an idiot, but I would love to be good at it too. When I hear my friends who can sing I am a little envious, but when I watch my friends who dance I am truly jealous.

It just is not in the cards. I will never sing, I will never play an instrument, and I will never dance and earn praise for it. These are things that I have long since accepted. None of this will stop me though from singing at the top of my lungs when a song I like comes on the radio, or singing softly to myself when I am alone. It will not stop me from dancing like an idiot every chance I get. You don't need talent to have fun.

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