My mother would take classes to learn new things, like upholstery, sculpture, painting, then teach her new skill to us girls. One of those classes happen to be on the Art of Belly Dancing. We were able to get the gist of it, “In in the knees, girls, the movement is in the knees,” I remember her saying.
I was 17. My new husband was older than me, and not that well. OK, that is a nice way of saying he was a sick man. In more ways than one.
I danced for my husband occasionally. He had this great idea I could make more money as a dancer than simply being a hostess. He valiantly tried to convince me that my dancing was a marketable skill. I did not think it would be. I was right. Let me explain.
The interview consisted of performing a series of dances on stage, in costume. I though of Isadora Duncan, and her famous Dance of the Seven Veils. My “costume” left very little to the imagination. Ultimately, I was to reduce the costume to the sparkly undies and pasties. The more “professional” dancers teased me by blowing a horn of sorts, off-key. They were testing my ability to overcome distractions, I am sure, to make me a better dancer, NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE JEALOUS OF MY YOUTH. I was off that stage in a New York second with tears of embarrassment. (A New York second is faster than a southern second). I did not even finish the first musical accompaniment. My husband was disappointed to say the least.
I am sure this is difficult for my son and grandchildren to fathom: Grandmamma was a nightclub dancer…for 90 seconds or so anyway.