My fancy dancing

I had an amusing and somewhat embarrassing incident happen at a teacher event that I attended last year.

I was at an all-day music teacher workshop and was having a great time, like I usually do at this annual event.  The whole day consists of hour-long clinics and sessions on a variety of topics, from teaching motion in string playing to score study for the busy conductor.  Probably not the most scintillating material for all you bass players out there, but really cool stuff for me now that I’ve shifted career gears.

One of these sessions was taught by a dance instructor and was intended to get us more tied into body awareness (and just to break up the monotony of  endless music education clinics).

For this session, we were lined up in parallel rows (there were about 70 of us at the event), and we were being instructed in various dance moves.  This is not exactly one of my usual activities in life, but it was a fun diversion and I was having a good time with it.

A young female teacher who I happened to be standing next to leaned over to me early on in the session and whispered to me

“Hey Jason!  You’re a really good dancer!”

This caught me off guard and was certainly flattering.  I mean, I was just doing a line dance with a bunch of other music teachers, quasi-zombified  after hours of clinics.  I wasn’t aware that I was cutting such a slick stride across the dance floor.  I smiled and thanked her.

A few minutes later, she asked me something that really threw me.

“Do you have a background in dance?”

Flattery on the educational dance floor was an unexpected thing for me, and like an idiot, I responded (quite untruthfully, by the way)…

“Why, yes!”

I have absolutely no idea why I uttered a boldfaced lie like that.  It’s totally unlike me.  I think that I was just caught off guard by her complimenting my dance moves so much.

I though I was safe with my little untruth, but of course, a few minutes later, the next question came…

“Hey Jason… what kind of dance background do you have, exactly?”

Uh oh.

I responded with something really unconvincing, like “you know…a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”  Misrepresenting myself as an experienced dancer was becoming more uncomfortable with every passing minute.

Note to self: don’t lie.  And if you do lie, it had better not be about something like your dance background!

I also like that there is a string teacher out there that thinks that I am a trained dancer.  What was I thinking?

About Jason

An active double bass performer and teacher, Jason teaches double bass at DePaul University and served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Bassists for many years. Jason is the current President of the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association. Jason has been a member of the Elgin Symphony since 2000 and has played with the Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County for the past decade. He is a past member of the Milwaukee Ballet and IRIS Orchestra, and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Symphony, and numerous other professional ensembles.

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