Thursday, August 09, 2012

Dots and Dances

If I push my life's rewind button, the polka dance appears in spurts and spikes.  I literally grew up watching my parents dance the polka, the waltz, the fox trot.  Dancing was the soul of their married life, and it was I who benefited from their love of dancing.

Memories make me cry, when I envision daddy whirling me around the ballroom floor.  Not bragging, but one time the other dancers on the pavilion dance floor stepped back to let the two of us 'strut our stuff.'  Daddy was wearing a suit and tie, and when he smiled, gold twinkled in his mouth.  It really twinkled when we danced.

My kissing cousin was a fabulous polka dancer, too.  He and I kicked up our heals to the polka like we were plugged into a light socket.  Both of us put our whole heart and soul into our 'cousin dances.'  The more he hopped, the higher I'd hop, and the more we'd sweat.  Our steps were in perfect sync, and if I faltered, he'd lift me up and I'd land right back in step.  He was the love of my life, because he made me feel like a princess in his arms.  It was such a shame that my dad and his mother were brother and sister.

So, where did the Polka Dot come from?

In early times it was nearly impossible to put evenly spaced patterns of dots on clothing material without them bleeding into uneven blotches.  With the birth of the industrial age came the ability to create dotted fabrics.  During the 1850s, dotted fabrics were popular and so was the Polka dance.  The theory is that dotted clothing (especially dresses) was worn to the polka dances, and that's how the two became connected.

Don't all of us baby boomers remember Brian Hyland's "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!"

August 9 is National Polka Festival Day.  A day to salute and take our hats off to this exhilarating dance.  The polka has a rich heritage that originated mid-19th century in Bohemia.  The name of the dance, Pulka, meaning 'half step,' describes its quick shift from one foot to the other.  It's an especially happy dance, with hops and skips, twirls and spins.  For me, the polka dance holds another cherished dimension.....that gold twinkle.

"The man who dances
has his choice of romances."
~Author Unknown  


Sunflowers Dance Around Our Garden