Sunday, 8 June 2014

Shake it up and shake your butt, Saggi di danza

Now is the time of year in Italy when everyone who has followed a course or activity since last September will have their end of year Saggio. This is to show the results of the hard work that has been done by the teachers and their charges. Over the years I have attended many of these Saggi, watching as a proud parent, my heart bursting with pride as my children played various instruments, different sports and my daughter her various dance classes. Now I watch as a proud grandmother, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I am reminded of the words of my dad when he used to say "There's only one best baby in the world, and every mother has got him/her". the same applies to grandmas. At the end of term dancing show today we all sweltered in the sudden extreme summer heat. We got really really hot and thirsty  but nothing could dampen our enthusiasm for what to us could never be rivalled by anything on Broadway or at the West end. When I was young there was just ballet dancing, but now there is a whole host of different types of dance classes. We watched Jazz dance, belly dance, Latin-American dance, contemporary dance, music and movement dance, street dance, hip-hop and lots of other dance. The enthusiasm and commitment showed by the teachers was moving and reassuring to see.
Dancing is one thing we can all try, whether we are gifted at sports or not. Even tiny babies feel the rhythm and beat. You just have to clap your hands to get a baby moving in time. I'm pretty sure that dancing is ten per cent skill and ninety per cent confidence.
In the film  Hairspray with John Travolta  dressed as a woman there is a song  called ?I can feel the beat', with a verse that goes

Ever since this old world began
A woman found out if she shook it
She could shake up a man
And so I'm gonna shake and shimmy it
The best that I can today....

And let's not forget the pleasure of dancing with your partner. It is very popular in Italy for couples to go to Latin American dancing classes to get some zing back in their relationship.
As Fred Astaire sang in the musical "Top Hat",

Heaven - I'm in heaven - and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
and I seem to find the happiness I seek,
When we're out together dancing cheek to cheek.

Here is the chorus of a song sung in a Northern Italian dialect called La Vilanela which is perfect for singing to little baby girls to get them dancing

O come balli bene bella bimba
Bella bimba, bella bimba,
O come balli bene bella bimba
Bella bimba balli ben

Oh how you dance well, pretty little girl
Pretty little girl, pretty little girl
Oh how you dance well, pretty little girl
Pretty little girl, you dance so well.

If you go to see someone you know in a show, don't forget the flowers.

A bouquet fit for a ballerina

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