From ages three to thirteen, every Thursday of the school year, I went to dance class. The only time I didn’t object was the very first day, since I didn’t yet know that it would be the single most loathsome part of my youth. All these years later, I still get all stiff-jawed and sweary when I think about the goddamn nightmare that was ballet classes.
At the end of each season, there’d be a recital at the big performance center in my town. Huge. Almost 3,000 seats. Annually, I endured THE WORST three days of my life as we had to perform four times over the course of a weekend. It was unadulterated misery for me. Honestly, I could go on for the rest of the day enumerating the many and varied ways in which I hated dance class, the recital weekend, all the girls in my class, the stage makeup, the bright lights and the preposterous costumes. Basically, it embodied everything that I am not about, most notably being girly and an attention whore.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. We’re here to talk about how, even now, all these years later, I still remember some of the choreography. One year, there was a dance medley (if you can name anything worse than a medley you win a prize) and the Charleston was among them. For one brief moment, I had fun in class because we learned it to Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” which is just such a great song. We got to freestyle a bit during the really jumpy part and dance class was the opposite of horrible for five minutes.
The Internet put the Charleston dance together with Daft Punk, which, being a French group, I think qualifies as appropriate subject matter for this blog. The two guys are really jiving in a way that makes me so happy, I almost forget about how much I hated dance class for a few moments. They’re that good.
According to the Interwebs, the guys are Al Minns & Leon James from the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.