Dance parties are a big part of being a parent, especially when you’re the parent of younger children. I love them because when I am hosting (or am summoned to) a dance party with my kids, they generally are staying out of trouble, getting along and having fun. There is also the bonus of getting to dance like a complete loon. Which, to be honest, is the only kind of dancing I’m good at.
My two-year-old son, Drew, has two signature dance moves: 1) running back and forth over and over again with great intensity; and 2) launching himself onto the carpet, as if he’s sliding into first base. I call it the “Pete Rose.” (Where my old-school Phillies fans at?!) I also call it the “Future Concussion.” It is important to pretend that move doesn’t hurt, despite your parent’s repeated cries of “Are you okay?” as you lie on the ground deciding whether to give in and cry.
Then there is my four-year-old daughter, Miss Skye, who has declared herself the family dance instructor. And I’m inclined to agree she’s the most qualified of our bunch. In fact, I received quite the dance lesson tonight, complete with the names of her moves. If you happen to be looking to expand your personal arsenal of dance moves, here’s how to cut a rug, preschooler-style:
TECHNIQUE: March around in circles and pop imaginary bubbles above your head. Demand that your mother follow suit: “POP THE BUBBLES, MOM! POP ‘EM! POP ‘EM!”
TECHNIQUE: “Point at the ground like you’re mad, Mommy!”
POTENTIAL DRAWBACK: You desperately want to laugh when your four-year-old says this to you (and demonstrates it with passion), thus undermining the whole suggested “mad effect.”
TECHNIQUE: Pretty self-explanatory. Pretend you’re smashing a marshmallow into your hand. Repeatedly. More advanced dancers can trying smashing it below their knees with a wide, sweeping arm, not unlike a chimpanzee.
TECHNIQUE: Hug yourself and give your mom a sweet smile while rocking back and forth. Tell her that the move is named after her. A move most wisely performed right before bedtime, to soften up your mother in hopes of delaying bedtime. (P.S. It works.)
These were all real dance moves I learned tonight, all aptly named by Skylar. When I told her I wanted to write them down (to share with y’all, of course), she nodded vehemently: “Yes! Good idea, Mommy! Leave the paper by the stairs so Daddy sees it and makes his dancing better.”
Oh yes, she did.
You see this, Mr. Candy? No more White Man Overbite — SMASH THE MARSHMALLOW!