Mama Mayhem

So, you think you can dance?

By Ivy Jensen

I DON’T like to brag, but I can dance.

Well, once upon a time.

The body isn’t as flexible as it used to be and I’ve long since retired from attempting the splits and walkovers.

While I still like to pull out the old high kick and body roll every now and then, get me down on the floor and there’s a high likelihood I won’t be getting up any time soon.

Fortunately, I have passed my love of dance onto my children who continue to entertain me with various routines from time to time.

And lately, it’s been almost every day thanks to school holidays and a ban on technology #sorrynotsorry. Forcing the girls to come together to beat the boredom.

That was just a way of life for my sisters and I growing up, with no smartphones or iPads keeping us glued to a screen.

Dancing was my favourite pastime when I was a kid and seeing as I only had one sister until the age of 11, she had to make do as my dance partner.

I mean, there are only so many solos you can do before Mum and Dad have seen enough.

Sadly, Signe didn’t share my love of the performing arts and much preferred building Lego by herself for hours on end. Which meant I would have to coax her into being the other half of the duet.

It was hard work getting her on board but thanks to my persuasive powers – and maybe a little bribing and blackmail – I got her there.

One of my favourites was our tap dance duet to the Motown classic Baby Love.

Not only because the routine could very well ripped it up on So You Think You Can Dance but because it showed me hard work pays off and I had a potential future in choreography.

If I could get poor, unco-ordinated Signe to look good, anything was possible.

Sure, I may have been hard on her, pushing her to do better and forcing her to practise for hours on end, but it was worth it in the end – our movements so in-sync we became one.

But all good things must come to an end and, one day, after one too many shuffle ball changes, my sister snapped, vowing never to dance with me again.

The reason? My standards were too high, my hours too long and my stamina too great.

Still, these dance routines are some of my fondest childhood memories, and although Signe still struggles with PTDD (post traumatic dance disorder), she is more resilient for it.

Which is why I am not getting involved when Maya comes complaining to me that she doesn’t want to do any more dance shows with Ayla because she’s too hard on her.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Ayla’s commanding teaching methods might not be much fun for poor little Maya, but they’re effective.

After several hours of rehearsing the steps until they were perfect, my little munchkins treated me to a brilliant display of modern dance the other night.

And watching Maya’s eyes flicker to Ayla every so often to make sure she was perfectly in time with her big sister really warmed my heart.

And, for a fleeting moment, almost made me feel sorry for my own sister.


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