My Weekend With Swans and Bamboo Princesses…

Many people don’t know that I, in fact, was quite the ballerina back in the olden days.  I had a role in the lesser known ballet, Swine Lake… the sequel to Swan Lake, but with swines instead of swans.  I was the understudy to the understudy to the understudy of the 15th background swine.  It’s a shame that ballet never caught on… it really did bring an awareness to the swine population… they ain’t all snorting and mud rolling.

Well… wasn’t that a sweet little story… moving on.  This weekend, I ventured with the family to Idaho Falls… about a 2-1/2-hour jaunt from where my couch lives.  We went to see my cute cuzzin, Jennifer’s  much anticipated ballet recital.  Jen-Jen is pretty much like my 2nd sister.  We all grew up together and she stayed with us many summers as a kid/teenager.  Lindsay and I love to tease our little cuzzin… mostly about her slow progression into an old lady (aka our grandma’s twin).  We like to call her little Ella (grandma’s name) because she enjoys wearing her bathrobe and slipper socks all day, carrying rotted bananas around in her purse, and using phrases like I’ve never had that before!  Which is code for, I want a bite of whatever you are eating, but can’t come right out and just say that.  We sure do love our little Ella!    

Me, Jen-Jen, and Lindsay with our new friend, Marlboro Man, John Wayne... and to think he never offered us a cig... what a drag!

To be brutally honest, I think pretty much the only ballet I’d seen in person was The Nutcracker.  PERIOD!  I’ve always thought that ballerinas were beautiful, graceful, strong dancers, but I’d just never fell into the craze.  I take that back… I did take ballet lessons when I was like 5 and 6 years old… and by ballet, I really mean moving my arms in a stiff fashion to some music and being the tallest and largest kid in the class.  I stood out like Andre the Giant in a pile of kindergartners… and I was horridly unflexible.  While all the other little girls were busy doing their splits, I was still trying to master reaching down to touch my toes.  Needless to say, I have always admired folks who can dance! 

The ballet was based on a Japanese folktale entitled The Bamboo Princess and featured all ages… from little bitty kids to adults… and I’m pretty sure every last one of them dancers had more coordination in their pinky fingers than I did in my whole danged body.  It was fun to watch the story told through dance and even an uncultured nondancer such as myself could keep up with all the pirouettes and plies and crochets (oops… wrong line of business).  Not to be biased or anything, but I thought Jen-Jen’s class did the best of all the groups.  Not that I know anything about ballet, but I thought that they were the most organized and synchronized and I loved their pretty gold-leafed fans.  Jen-Jen, I give your performance skillz a 10/10… and the dude sitting behind me who kept whooping and hollering like he was at a cow ropin’ competition… I give you a 2/10.  Thanks for inviting us, Jen and for culturing this girl with the rhythm of a deadened tree trunk. 

Beautiful Jen-Jen posing for and with her fan(s)!

Question of the Day:  Do you like to dance?  If so, which kind of dance is your preferred boogying method?



Filed under Family

11 responses to “My Weekend With Swans and Bamboo Princesses…

  1. You beat me out on the ballet, I’ve never seen the nutcracker!

  2. cl2

    I guess I’ve seen something. My older sister took ballet for many years (who wasn’t very coordinated either–and I knew I wasn’t, so I wouldn’t have taken ballet if my life depended on it–she just didn’t want to take piano lessons). She was in several recitals. That is the extent of my exposure to ballet.

    I hate to dance. There you have it. I’m completely uncoordinated. I can’t even do exercise classes very well–I go to the back of the class so nobody can see how uncoordinated I am.

  3. dessawade

    Well, this almost 60 mother of yours really likes zumba. I can tap into my inner Ricky Martin and really let go. Don’t get me wrong. i am really bad at it but I too stand on the back row in the corner in the crowded room hoping no one really pays any attention to me. It’s a fun way to exercise.
    I was really proud of our little Jen Jen. She is a beautiful, graceful, elegant ballerina. I know she has worked really hard and disciplined herself to get to this point. We could all take a page out of her book. Love you Jen!

  4. Holly

    Aaaaahhh! I wish I would have known you were going to be here in Idaho Falls! We could have met up!!!!

    • Dude! How come I thought you lived in Boise!! Cobweb brain over here! Next time I venture up, I’ll be sure to holler. We can do lunch… keep the calendar open! 😛

  5. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful time.
    Love the pics!

    Question of the Day: Do you like to dance? If so, which kind of dance is your preferred boogying method?

    I used to love to dance growing up but always did it in my room in secret. I was pretty good but could never dance in front of anyone ( I did let my best friend see me once and my one brother but that was all ).
    I haven’t openly danced in over 8 yrs. Used to dance around the kitchen with the kids when they were tiny and we would giggle a lot.
    Feel too much like a hippo trying to dance now with this extra #s…

    I only partner dance with my husband now and that isn’t very often either.

    Keep on ….keepin’ on….

  6. Kale

    Fun! Great job to Jen too! I especially liked the reminisces of Grandma.

  7. LOVE to dance! I danced all through my younger years (from age 3 to about age 24) and performed in many ballets. I miss it! I wish it was something that I still had easy access to…it would be much easier to stay active doing something that I adore. Glad you had a great time!

  8. Jen Nelson

    I think you already know my answer to your question today. Ballet is my favorite and then next I would have to say ballroom dance. Thanks for the publicity on your blog Whit! Maybe someday I will be as famous as you.

    Jen Jen

  9. Lindsay


    Your performance was beautiful and you were so beautiful and graceful to watch . . . how did someone so thin and graceful come from our Family? This is a mystery no one will ever know! But thank goodness you were able to carb load that was the funniest part I am bummed whit left that out!

    I think the watermelon sized Fettucini Alfredo that you ordered before your performance was how you got so graceful that night! But with a body like yours why not eat that all day long?

    You were super thanks for the invitation!


  10. Way to go Jen! I love seeing people achieve their dreams, especially the dreams that take some doing. I took ballet for a few weeks when I was 5 years old, but it didn’t stick. I admire people with rhythm because I have none. I only dance if nobody is watching because let’s be honest – nobody needs to see that!

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