While home, LBC and I accompanied our father on a routine trip to the parks and recreation office. While The Decider waited in line for his 2009 beach sticker, we browsed the display of neatly arranged fliers advertising the usual fare for the semi-retired set in Florida: “Hip Hop Dance!” “Relaxing Yoga and Stretching” “Bridge.” Then, a bright yellow stack caught my eye: “DANCE. Ballet and Tap with Miss Irene.” It was for children ages six to ten.
“No way,” I thought. The last time I strapped on my tiny tap shoes for Miss Irene, it was the grand finale of our recital, in which 20 five-year-olds in heavy makeup and provocative tutus sashayed uncomfortably to “Hey Big Spender.” I would dutifully attend class weekly with my friend Kelly, but as kindergartners without control of our own destinies, we slogged along, hoping to go unnoticed lest we incur the wrath of Miss Irene.
LBC agreed that this couldn’t possibly be the same warden of toe points and shuffles. However, as we started to survey a glass case displaying a “time capsule” for parks and rec, we spied a picture here and there of a tiny dancer, eyes ablaze with eye shadow and a hint of fear, wearing a satin leotard adorned with lace and a tutu.