Self-Portrait: Dancer Down

Have you ever been asked to “define” yourself?

In Holly Wren Spaulding’s poetry class, we were asked to write a Self-Portrait Poem. That seems a bit softer, less in-your-face and serious than “defining” myself.

By way of explanation, I took dance lessons from age 4 to 17 with Miss Edith Tewes in Waukegan, Illinois. She was one tough lady and for a long time I fancied myself a budding RockettePhoto is me in one of the many Boston rehearsals mentioned below.


Self-Portrait: Dancer Down

There it was. Audition.
Wanted: 100 dancers
for three months prep to perform
in Boston’s Copley Square.
No experience required.
I did this twenty years ago –
in Iowa.
Ninety-nine hoofer-wanna-bes
plus Gene Kelly and me.
Thousands saw me
in the big-ten half-time show
or took a trip for hotdogs
and the john.

So I did it. Again.
Ninety-nine plus me
two nights every week.
Loud fast rehearsals
with slow
every day
at home
to video
I should have known.
I was twenty years older
not newer.

One month to go.
On burgundy shag carpet
Then on wooden
unforgiving studio floor.
Crap.……dancer down.

Legs sagged. Muscles be damned.
Relegated to rice.
–   – oh hell,
I forget what the E stands for.

4 thoughts on “Self-Portrait: Dancer Down

  1. stewcarol March 30, 2015 / 12:15 am

    This is funny and so you. I’m enjoying all of these. Dancer down, poet UP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lillian March 30, 2015 / 12:58 am

    Many many thanks, Carol — for looking at all my poems and for your comments! Truly appreciate it — and miss you!


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