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Pauline Baird Jones: Barbarians and Tap Dancing?

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor

Now that I’ve got your attention….
Copyright Wyojones All rights Reserved. Used with permission.

When I noticed on Pinterest that a lot of bare-chested guys were getting re-pinned, I asked the hubs if he could help me out. And he did. Isn’t he great? LOL Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I’ll get to what this blog is really about.

Tap dancing.

And ballet and tumbling. But mostly it is about tap dancing.

When I was a little girl, I used to go to weekly tap, ballet and tumbling at the local VFW hall. I was not bad at tumbling, well, except for when we were supposed to tumble. Then I sucked. Also sucked at ballet and tap.

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I was about this good. Maybe. I know my “career” ended abruptly when I puked on my tutu just before our performance. I recovered, but the tutu didn’t.

Why, you might wonder, was a tiny town in northern Wyoming, teaching little girls to tap like, oh, Shirley Temple?

Because of Shirley Temple.

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She is also responsible for the painful perms of my childhood. I don’t blame my mom. There was tremendous pressure (not to mention hope) that the next Shirley Temple would emerge from the ooze of those long ago classes. Here is where I confess that I may have put a child through the same torture mill, though we paid a much heavier price for it. If you’ve had a kid take dance class, you know what I’m talking about.

Aside from the inclination to puke under stress, I was also a child prone to being a bookworm and a hermit. Didn’t like being on stage (hence the puking). But it wasn’t all painful. I’m glad my mom gave me the chance to find out if I could. Or couldn’t. I do remember how fun it was to get tap and ballet shoes, to strap them on with hope and anticipation. That both hope and anticipation quickly faded was no one’s fault but mine. And maybe some of my dad’s genes.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, project enterpriseBut never fear Mom and Shirley, the dream of dancing did not completely die inside me. No, it emerged in my fiction when I created a character that dances waaaay better than I ever did. Sara Donovan, of The Key uses dancing as a brutal workout and a way to relieve stress during her voyage to a distant galaxy. Dancing also kept her light on her feet when evil aliens needed their tushes kicked. And it provided some light moments in the story. (If you’ve read the book, you know I’m talking about the table dancing. If you haven’t, well…too bad for you.)

So what painful childhood activity still haunts you with might-have-been? Or perhaps a, “thank goodness I never have to do that again?” Ever made the mistake of enrolling a kid in dance or piano lessons? Had your eyes bleed during hours and hours of recital? If you haven’t, then this is a good week for you to give thanks for small mercies (and large).

Please share your past tortures, er, memories and your comment will be entered into my monthly drawing for a $10 AnaBanana Gift Card of healing-past-pain. Winner is announced the first blog post of each month.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, Project Enterprise

If you’re stateside, I hope you have an awesome holiday week, filled with family, friends and much to be thankful for. If you’re not, I still wish you an awesome week! Just cause. 🙂

Perilously yours,


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