Dad, The Dance Machine

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - June 18, 2008
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Something my kids don’t believe is that I used to be quite a good dancer. Back in the day, it was disco with John Travolta leading the way for all us “wannabes” in Saturday Night Fever. The guys who could dance at the disco were the ones who got the attention of the women.

My buddies and I spared no effort where the opposite sex was concerned. We “discoed” all night, and if that wasn’t enough to hone our dancing skills, well, some of us took lessons. Actually, only two of us did. It ended up being pretty cool as our instructors were hot women.

It was at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Kapiolani. The name of the studio should tell you that disco wasn’t the only dance we learned. There were the classics like the waltz and tango, which was OK because we got to get up close with our dance partners.

When we finished all our lessons, we were both asked to stay on as instructors. At the time, that was probably the coolest job in the world. Still, I already had a good-paying job with Foodland so I declined - to the joy of my parents - but my buddy went on to become an instructor.

The other day our 11-year-old daughter was practicing a dance step she had just learned. She called it “heel-toe” and it looked a lot to me like the James Brown “powder the floor” move. Anyway, she was pretty good at it and she started egging me on that I could-n’t do it.

Since she threw down the gauntlet, I pulled out all my best moves. According to my daughter, I made Carlton’s dancing on Fresh Prince look like Usher or Justin Timberlake. I walked toward the garage mumbling, “You just don’t know what good dancing is all about.”

While getting something from the garage and unbeknownst to me, a 747 cockroach landed on the back of my shirt. When I went back into the house, my daughter started screaming, “Dad, there’s a huge roach on your back!” Like a dog chasing its tail I started spinning around. That, combined with my jumping up and down in an effort to shake the roach, must have been a sight. After I caught the roach my daughter said, “Dad, those were some pretty good moves!” Now I kind of wished someone had video recorded it as my audition tape for So You Think You Can Dance?.


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