Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Dead Fish Story

(In honor of international dance day April 29, one day late) When I was very young, a thousand years ago in elementary school, I took private ballet lessons with two friends. The teacher was a very strict beautiful German woman. She had a long wooden stick which she would use to count beats on the floor. Our arms would sometimes grow limp because they would be outstretched for long periods while we worked at the bar. She would actually whack our arms and shout "Dead fish!" if our arms started to lower. Despite her strict ways she gave me a wonderful appreciation for all forms of dance and especially ballet. Years later my sister Jocelyn found a wonderful Russian ballet teacher. His name was Mr. Tarnovsky. We took ballet together. There was no whacking of arms in his class. He was an accomplished ballet dancer in his day. He taught with a quiet charm. Strict but quite effective with no whacking of dead fish arms. I liked him a lot. It was a wonderful large elegant ballroom that my sister and I took lessons. I remember those days with fondness.

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