Gettin Jiggy With It

This particular incident really supports the theory that once you go black, you never go back. First there was Martin, then there was Will Smith. Each year my elementary school used to put on a performance called The Multicultural Show, the show consisted of 12 dances from all parts of the world. Being the shy and meek child I was, naturally I made sure I was in every single number… Front and center. From Irish river dancing to the Russian Polka, I felt like I was Jodie Sawyer from “Center Stage”. The finale performance was a dance to Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”. Picture this, twenty 4th graders doing the running man to drive home the message of racial equality… In elementary school. On the last leg of performance week I had a brilliant idea. Since we had been doing the same show for 3 whole days (the life of a performer), I felt we should spice things up for the final parent performance that Friday night. I asked my teacher if I could perform an additional finale number to more contemporary music. My teacher Mrs.Howard clearly appreciated my rhythym and extensive rehearsal time because she agreed to let me close the show. For the next few days, I locked myself in my room choreographing for my big moment. I refused to let anyone in my family see what I was up to since I wanted it to be a surprise.

My parents, both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles all walked into the multi purpose room to-go cups in hand. A really convenient thing about my family is that I can always find them in a crowd. One because there are always so many of them (we travel in herds), two they are all so fucking loud and three you can always find the sea of red cups (classy). I couldn’t believe what a great turn out we had. After our showstopping “Black and White” dance it was finally my big moment. I handed over my CD while I waited on the side of the stage to be introduced (diva). My teacher thanked everybody for coming and announced my solo performance… Everyone clapped, the lights dimmed and I took the stage. I faced my back to the audience, popped my leg, put my hands on my hips and gestured for the tech guy to press play.

Between the shimmying, break dancing and gyrating I was really workin my shit. I would say audience approval was at about 50% mid-performance. But because I am a slave to the dance, I let them hater’s be my motivaters. Sure, I could see people starting to leave but I didnt give a flying fuck. I was on top of the world. My parents were standing, dancing, cheering me on. My dad brought out his water bottle of tequila and started refilling the red cups. It was awesome. Even my old ass teacher was standing up and clapping Big Willie Style. Between the bright lights, audience participation and serious dance exertion I was starting to schvitz. In my last count of 8, I planned on ending my number with a jump where I landed legs crossed, did a spin and popped a peace sign at the crowd. As I approached my final move I decided to improvise. Mid spin I took my rhinestoned tank-top off to expose my cute Roxy bikini top (all the kids had to wear bathing suits so we could change quickly backstage – low budge) I whipped my shirt over my head helicopter style, threw it into the crowd and hit my peace sign mark.

My teacher was no longer clapping, my parents mortified and the PTA moms were already organizing a petition to have me home-schooled. Luckily, my haute mess Grandma thought it was sensational. As far as she was concerned, I was a shoe-in for Juliard. She was clapping and screaming while crickets chirped and my teacher hurried me off stage. My family congratulated me, giving me flowers and telling me how proud they were of me. I was blissfully unaware of the mortifying parent-teacher conference on the horizon. My mother advised me it would be best not to make any more impromptu costume changes during school performances.

Haute Mess Lesson: Na na na na na-nana, Na na na na na-nana. Gettin jiggy wit it.


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