What’s going on, big rig trucks?
For months, I’ve been chronicling efforts towards “Nerding My Wife” in a series of posts that discuss my actions to help Laura get acclimated into the more nerdy aspects of nerd culture so she can share them with me. In truth, our interests have always been almost in tandem and this series has largely been an attempt to get public backing so she’d watch Star Trek with me and feel guilty if she didn’t. So far so good. As an added consequence, I’ve piqued her interest in a couple new subjects she was afraid of before. Bonus.
But all these posts got me thinking about how I’ve never talked about the ways she’s “nerded” me into her interests over the past 7.5 years. They’ve given the impression that she was some sort of a blank canvas I’ve had to warp to my liking, without any discourse about how I’ve moved in her direction or talk about the things she’s taught me to appreciate. That needed remedied. So here we are, with Nerding My Wife: Inverted.
Dance has always been a major part of Laura’s identity. She was born with a hip displacement (I don’t actually know the real word for what was wrong) and the doctors weren’t positive she’d ever walk properly. Instead of fulfilling that prophecy, she not only learned to walk just dandy, but started dancing as a small girl, continued through her teenage years, became a Dance major in college, performed in Pittsburgh’s major venues and now teaches ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pointe, musical theater and accro to hundreds of girls aged 3-18. She’s pretty awesome like that.
With all this dancy dancing going on, I’ve spent countless hours in the past almost-decade watching dance, waiting for dance classes to end, watching dance performances, watching her students’ dance performances, watching dance TV, helping to write dance papers, hanging out with dancers, helping out with dances, and even taking dance classes when her college department didn’t have enough males for proper pas de deux instruction. It’s been a ride and I’ve learned a lot. Now when someone mentions 5th position or talks about a tombé chassé pas de bourrée, I know what that should look like.
And yes, I was very, very bad at pas de deux.
Learning about dance has been really swell, and was important to our relationship. It’s fused one of the million bonds we have that allow us to enjoy every moment together. Just as I hope she enjoys talking about and watching things with me, I enjoy watching dance and talking about it with her. The way I’ve developed my dance appreciation from her was the root inspiration for writing the Nerding My Wife series. I know she thinks it’s great when I’m capable of pointing out that a girl’s foot is sickled when she comes up into relevé, or that some person has the right technique but lacks any passion behind their movement, as much as I love it when she chuckles when Data says something silly.
Incredibly relevant clip:
I didn’t know what any dance words meant 8 years ago. I still find dance the most frightening thing in the world to do myself. I only have the knowledge I do now because of my desire to share everything with her, and having an absorbed interest in the things she does. That’s how good relationships work, kids!
Segue to a couple weekends ago when Laura was away for a few days at the JUMP dance convention as it made its rounds through Pittsburgh. There she received a lot of good education and was able to take her students to classes taught by world-renowned dancers and choreographers. Not only were those things great, but Laura had the chance to meet a number of her dance idols. Classes were taught by the likes of Mia Michaels, Nick Lazzarini, Mandy Moore, Melanie Moore, Denise Wall, and others I can’t remember and can’t look up at the moment because Firefox says the server where the page is located isn’t responding.
And yes, since the JUMP weekend opens with a competition, the infamous Pittsburghers from Lifetime’s Dance Moms competed. And yes, they won things. Between that weekend and now, I’ve been wanting to share Laura’s pictures with you, internet people, because I was really happy for her. She got an opportunity to meet and spend time in the company of people who have fueled and inspired the path she’s taken in life, which is super cool.
So in order, here’s Laura with Mia Michaels (who is her biggest idol ever), Nick Lazzarini (who she and her boss called Yummy Arms), Abby Lee Miller (who she said was very nice) and Dance Moms Christi (who she said was very gorgeous).
Abby Lee was eating a huge cheeseburger at this time. Laura also got pictures with Holly and Nia of Dance Moms, but doesn’t have them yet. I will add when she gets them.
Oh, and as for the Dance Moms… Jill is just as annoying in real life, Maddie and Chloe are tinier than they look on TV, and all the girls are just as good as you think they are.
Wait, how did I get to talking about Lifetime again? Dammit.