“Stick to what you know” is the usual writer’s adage. In other words, if you live on dry ground, don’t write poetry about the wonders of gills, and if you’re, say, a boy, don’t write editorials about the discomforts of stiletto heels…except, of course, if you’re one of the boys who live near the Moulin Rouge in Paris! Then you’re allowed.
All this to say that we should stick to what we know if we are to avoid making utter fools of ourselves. Or so I thought until the Valentine’s party a couple weeks ago, when a handful of writers blasted their comfort zones to smithereens to commit a slew of entertaining and sometimes dangerous dance-floor crimes. Their efforts were so heartfelt and misconceived that they made their perpetrators endearing…thus forcing me to change the adage to: “Every so often, don’t stick to what you know–and make sure I’m there to witness it!”
Cases in point:
Taelyr begs for one more try (Elyse looks like she might have found one of his moves to be more “Dirty Dancing” than “Swing Dancing”), Meredith inaugurates her patented “Tush-Twirl”, and Kristoff and Beth defy the laws of gravity in their snazzy, boxer-baring moves.
And then there was Austin–who swapped a lovely and lively partner for…well…Taelyr. Which is disquieting and just plain wrong on MANY levels!
Note the body language on Missy as she watches her partner–aka the burning bush–dipping Taelyr. Seems to me the bush had better head for the hills. Good thing some graceful and experienced older dancers were there to show the young’uns how it’s done!
(Note Michelle’s terrified expression and Lane’s ever-so-suave demeanor)
When I first accepted the position of “Poetry Teacher” (which is a bit of a contradiction in terms), I thought I’d be spending an hour each day surrounded by sedate, melancholy, dreamy creatures whose lives revolve around astounding metaphors like: “Her breath held all the sweetness of a compost heap on fire.” But nooooo, no such luck for me. Instead, I’m surrounded by people like Kristoff whose lateness to class rewards us all with home-baked lollypop cookies and whose birthday exuberance makes him carve birthday wishes into a log during pauses in poetry classes. Don’t ask–he’s, uhm, unique.
Just so you know, after he’d finished painstakingly carving “16” into the wood, in honor of his friend’s 16th birthday, he discovered she was actually turning 17! Ah the pure joy of his distress!
But writers like Collin reassure me. It appears the romantic streak hasn’t been entirely scared out of this generation. All it takes is a little Candlelight to spur him to impassioned proposals:
All this to say–not as succinctly as I should–that I love my poetry class. And I wouldn’t trade them for all the cheesecake in the world!