LESLIE CRISS: Certain amount of courage needed to take on something new

“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.”
– Edwin Denby

“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”
– Samuel Beckett

“Dance till the stars come down from the rafters;Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop.”
– W.H. Auden

Sibling rivalry came as early and as naturally to my baby sister and me as it does to any brothers and sisters.
We fought, mostly launching verbal volleys. A few small swats were shared as tempers flared, but no bones were ever broken, only Barbie doll legs.
Oh, the story’s still told as often as possible, my sister the teller, about the time I allegedly pulled her arm out of the socket.
True, I heard a pop. And I’m sure it hurt. But it was not intentional.
I was only trying to get her out of my room.
The Barbie doll legs? That’s a whole ‘nuther story. And I freely admit my breaking her bendable legs was my intent. I’m certain it was pay back for something Beth had done to me.
All that said, there came a time when our rivalry morphed into friendship.
In fact, my sister has long been one of my heroes.
She’s wise, she’s funny, she’s supportive, she’s a great mom to my niece. The list could go on at great length.
But here’s one more reason I think my sister is so amazing: She’s 47 years old and Monday night she will take part in her first-ever dance recital in Huntsville, Ala.
Did you just chuckle? I did when first I heard Beth was taking tap with Tricia, another good friend.
And I may well chuckle softly when those two take to the stage to tap to a Christina Aguilera song.
But here’s the truth: I laugh, I believe, from the sheer terror I feel when I allow myself to even think of doing something so brave.

Timid genes
My sister and I have long shared a painful problem. Shyness.
And I’m sure through the years, 47 for Beth and 51 for me, our timidity has kept us from attempting some things we wish we’d had the courage to attempt.
Like trying out for a role in a play. If I had the courage my sister has, that’s what I’d do. But I don’t see it happening.
If I were faced with the prospect of dancing – or doing anything else – before a crowd, I’d have been overdosing for weeks on that pink calming courage in a bottle – Pepto-Bismol.
But not so, my sister.
Beth has always said there’s a dancer inside her screaming to get out.
Well, that dancer is finally tapping her way to freedom.
Glory be.

Contact Leslie Criss at leslie.criss@ djournal.com or (662) 678-1584.

NEMS Daily Journal

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