I love Dancing with the Stars. Fanatical. Crazy for it! I watch every episode and cry nearly every time. It took me awhile to figure out why I cried every time. Then I realized it's because I want to dance!
I am a terrible dancer. I was in Color Guard in high school which requires a touch of dance skill. My mom and Aaron would sit in the stadium and laugh at me. I was that bad.
When I tried out for a production of White Christmas, they were starting with dance auditions. I was so bummed. I thought if they heard me sing first then maybe I would have a chance to read. The audition was tragic. Everyone else had experience and so they would say something like,
"OK, we will do a pas de barre, fan kick, body roll, box step and pose. And 5,6,7,8!"
And then people did it! I did not want to just stand there and so I tried to do what the people in front of me did. It was SOOO bad! Strangely, I was not scared or embarrassed. I just thought it was hilarious. What was I thinking?
They called us up 3 at a time to show our stuff. The judges did not even look at me. They did at first, but then they quickly realized I was a disaster and kept their eyes on the other two dancers. They couldn't look at me again or they might laugh. I am not making that up. I later talked to one of the directors who judged the audition and she confirmed that that is indeed how it went. I guess they were baffled as to what in the world I was doing there because they did not ask me to leave and I got to do a singing audition and later a reading. I scored a small non-dancing part. In the final chorus the whole cast dances together. Simple stuff...box steps and such. Regardless, the director was sure to post the two tallest performers in the cast directly in front of me. I'm certain this was strategic. I'm not complaining. I was grateful for it!
Still...I would like to dance. It terrifies me though. I did take Belly Dancing for about a year. It was a great fitness regime. No skill was ever obtained though. Boo. My belly dancing instructor also taught a Zumba class that has various Latin dances combined to provide a great cardio work out. She encouraged me to come to a class.
"You know they are not inviting you to a salsa cook off right?" my sister asked.
"So don't bring chips?"
She was right. There were no chips and dip. I went to classes for about a month and then decided to quit since I was on the verge of tears through every class. Can't even do the dance of my peoples. Ug.
It was either this past summer or fall, after bawling through another season of Dancing with the Stars, that I decided to write the show. It would take hard core professional help to get me to dance. It seemed unlikely they would go for my idea but...if you never ask you'll never get anything. I suggested that they try a season with Every Day Stars such as firefighters, police men, teachers, nurses, EMTs, military personnel and...moms. I never heard back.
A few months ago, during the Academy Awards, there was a commercial for Dove. They would be partnering with Dancing with the Stars in a contest called the Dove Challenge. The winner would be flown to CA for a week to be taught a dance by one of the Dancing with the Stars dancers and would perform the dance in the finale. All you had to do was send in a 60 sec. video saying why you like Dove and why you want to be on Dancing with the Stars. I was immediately gripped with fear and cried. (Can you believe? I am such a dork!) When ever I feel that sort of reaction it is the signal to me that I have to do it. I don't want anyone to tell me that I can't, including myself.
I dragged my feet on making the video. I pushed it back everyday until it was the day before the deadline. I recorded a "bit" with my camera set up in my living room. I didn't tell anyone. After I got the piece sent out; I went over to Caren's.
"What's the matter with you? You're not being yourself," she said.
"Hm." I couldn't tell her. I was too embarrassed and too nervous. A few weeks later I finally confessed.
"I KNEW there was something off about you that day!"
I feel quite certain they are going to call me. I know it is silly but I really do! One day I was doing laundry and I thought, this is how it will happen. I will be doing laundry and my phone will ring and it will be Dancing with the Stars. And then...my phone rang.
Oh my gosh! It's happening!
I looked at my phone's caller ID. The number was Unavailable.
Holy smokes! It's them!
"Is Tia there?"
"Sorry. Wrong number." (P.S. Why do we apologize to people who have the wrong number? And to Tia: stop giving my number out. Grow a pair and just turn these guys down with some grace instead of lying to them. You have been rerouting guys to my number for 9 years now!)
Little by little I revealed my secret to various people. My mother, sister, friends, grandma...
"Oh! You just have to tell me if they call you," my Grandma said. "I will need to tell all of my friends to watch!" I love her faith.
On our Spring Break road trip, I told Aaron. He did not say much. I think he said that it was "nice."
One Monday night I was making dinner and getting excited about watching DWTS. Aaron was in the kitchen helping me get things ready. I threw my leg up on the counter and started stretching.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm stretching. I've been thinking I should be getting my body ready. Get more limber for the show."
"You are a dork."
"But when they call me I have to be ready!"
"Call you? What?" I reminded him about the contest. It was like I was telling him for the first time.
"You can't leave for a week," he said.
"But I go to make money. Are they going to pay you?"
"They will pay for the trip!"
"What about the kids? I can't take a week off from work to take care of them."
"My friends would all do anything to make sure I am on the show. They will help with the kids. Get out of my way. I'm stretching here."
The next week Aaron came home from work. I had been praying and daydreaming every day since sending the video in that I would be on the show. I was feeling good about my chances that day and I greeted Aaron with a hug and kiss and said, "I'm going to be on Dancing with the Stars."
"So they called," he said. He was very unsurprised. It wasn't "Did they call?" Or "So they called?" It was a matter-of-fact statement. "So they called."
"No. I'm just saying. You know...heads up. They are going to call." He hugged me and pet my hair like I was a special case.
"I love you. You are a weirdo but I really, really love you." I think he knows I'm going to get the call. He really thought they had called.
On another day I was out and about town and I saw a store for dance wear. I text Shalah.
Me: I found a store that sells dance clothes. I am trying not to go in and buy stuff. I'll need like a weeks worth of dance clothes for the practices.
Shalah: No ma'am. Why don't you buy a pair of high heels instead?
Me: Not a bad idea. I need to break my feet in. I love to wear heels but I don't know if my feet can handle 7 days a week dancing in heels.
Shalah: You'll fit right in with the Mountain People in your heels.
Me: Right. *sigh* I have to get on this show.
I'm such a 12 year old.
Shalah: You really are.
I know it seems far fetched to think that I'll get on the show but I have 4 friends who have been on various reality TV programs. One was a bachelorette on Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire, another was on a HGTV bathroom make over show and then of course there are my friends, Olivia and Hannah, on this seasons Biggest Loser. It really could happen people.
Monday night's show was an hour and half long. When I found that out I nearly peed my pants! It was awesome! They said repeatedly in the show that they were half way through the season. I checked my calendar. If my calculations are correct I should be hearing from them in about 3 weeks. That should give me time to buy my dance clothes and make arrangements for the family. If not...well, they will. They have to call.
Note: After writing this blog I decided to do some research to see when the winner would be notified. The suspense was just killing me! Found out she was notified back in April and has been working on her dance with Damian Whitewood of DWTS and filming commercials for Dove. I had a good cry and Aaron had a good laugh. (Not because I didn't get it but because I really thought that I would.) I am a million shades of ridiculous.