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Just can't get down with my bad self

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By Alice Du Pont

I can't dance. I've tried, but there is something wrong with the side of my brain that controls dancing.

When line dancing became popular a few years back, I thought I was saved. This, I thought, is something I can do, since you’re in a line with a bunch of other people and all of you are doing the same thing. I did pretty good, too. For the most part, I kept up and didn't throw too many people off.

The "Electric Slide" is the most primary of the line dances and folks from 8 to 80 can do this one. Then there was the "Cupid Shuffle" and I did fairly well on that one. If you can count to four and turn around, you can do the "Cupid Shuffle." Besides, the song itself, like the square dance tunes, tells you which moves to make and when.

But like everything else, more steps have been added to those dances than I could manage. They've added hops and new twists and turns and dips. So I'm on the sidelines again, waiting until a dance that I can do becomes popular.

The few dances and parties I attend a year don't keep me up on the latest moves. I'm embarrassed when I get asked to dance and I always wonder if the person asking thinks I'm rude when I decline the offer. Believe me fellas, I'm trying to save your feet and my pride.

The times I've hit the dance floor, I don't think I look spastic like some people I've seen who, for whatever reason, think they can dance. You've seen them. They stay on the floor doing their own version of dances and looking crazy. It's good to know what you can and cannot do and I have determined that dancing is not what I'm good at.

Some of my nieces are good dancers. One of them teaches dance and is pretty good at choreography. I love watching her dance and doing her thing.

She must have gotten it from the other side of her family because, God knows, she didn't get it from the DuPont side. I won't talk about the other members of the family who are dance floor-challenged. But those who know him know of whom I speak.

My not being able to dance never really bothered me growing up. I had talents in other areas. I could recite Christmas and Easter speeches with the best of them. I could remember verse after verse and recite it loud and clear. I always wanted the long speeches in church and school; the longer the better. I remember the poem I was assigned in ninth grade. That thing was about three pages and I learned every word of it. I won the Declamation contest that year for "The Amen Corner." I reveled in the applause when I finished. Grownups would tell my mother how they enjoyed my recitation which made her happy which, in turn, made me happy.

I can't dance. But if you need a poem recited, I'm your girl.