To understand this story, you must first realize I was counseled out of ballet. Before your mind is set to wander off to the Joffrey or even a first rate ballet school in a big city, come back to the little strip mall in an exurb about an hour outside of San Francisco. It was sandwiched between Donna's Gifts, a purveyor of ceramic poultry statues and Mrs. Grossman's stickers, and a dry cleaner. The discussion happened between my dad and the mistress of the studio after a few "incidents" and I never went back.
So it is somewhat surprising that I landed a spot in the liturgical dance spotlight dance with Kate, a girl who was still enrolled in ballet. Our Lutheran Youth Choir was poised to tour the Pacific Northwest bringing our unique mix of vocal stylings and halted dance moves to churches that apparently yearned for such entertainment. Unlike our competitors, we mixed in our songs for the Lord with liturgical dance which clearly gave us an edge over other bands of Evangelical Lutheran youth choirs. There was one dance where all of the girls (yes, boys do not liturgical dance)would don flowing shiny taffeta long sleeve shirts with bell shaped skirts. We moved in unison (I imagined) ever so slowly raising our hands in open palmed victory. While the others would join the choir to do an upbeat Swahili ditty with snapping (yes, we were all White...for another blog post), Kate and I would rush behind the alter to do a quick change into tight iridescent turquoise spandex dance outfits that happened to be backless.
Kate, with all of her extensive dance knowledge, selected the outfit to maximize our movement abilities. The fact that it accentuated her curves and made her skin glow from the interplay with the turquoise fabric was just a cherry on top of the danceability. To be kind, I still believe, they chose to order a a size small for me. I was no where near a size small. When they arrived, I stuffed myself into the costume and the adults were skilled enough to hide their certain looks of horror. My skin splotched with freckles seemed to battle with the color fabric and the spandex did not accentuate the right curves.
It was decided that all could be rectified with some sticky bras. Again, I don't think anyone noticed me in this calculous as my midsection certainly extended further than my breast buds. But, sticky bras were procured for the tour by a well meaning adult.
Our third or fourth spot on the tour was a small church in Longview, Washington. It was a "hot" venue because they church elders had somehow conned the local cable access TV station to film our show for the masses. Naturally, the hormone fog was becoming more and more intense as we all imagined ourselves being "discovered" here.
As we prepped for the show, which mostly included looking longingly at the pastor's son with my best friend Karin, the well meaning adult discovered that she had not purchased enough sticky bras. I suggested that I go without, as my washboard breast bone hardly needed the sticker. However, God would not appreciate sticky bra-less girls dancing slowly on the alter in too tight spandex. Instead, she decided that Kate would continue to get two stickers, one for each breast, and the well meaning adult would start cutting the sticker in half for the duration of the tour for me. Yes, my breasts were worth one half of a sticky bra.
This development only served to set Karin and I off in a frantic giggle cycle that lasted throughout the performance. I won't bore you with tales of the icy stares from our youth pastor or the condescending glances from our other choir members during the live TV performance.
After the cameras stopped rolling and the 26 grey headed audience members stopped clapping, Karin and I darted out the side door. I reached into my shirt and peeled off the sticker parts, giggling to hide my shame. She turned to me and said slyly, "Let's go break store windows." And we went off running barely able to breathe from laughing so hard.