Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Old Western Dance

For over ninety years, our little community has held a dance competition for young people in April. It's called the Old Western, and I participated as a kid.  For four days, the kids and their partners go to lessons, learning as little ones the Shottish, Bunny Hop, Chicken Dance, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Hokie Pokie and the Two Step.  The older ones go on to do a waltz, jitterbug and line dance among others.

Then, that Friday night, the competition ensues.  It's separated into three groups (K-1st grade, 2nd-3rd grade, and 4th, 5th and 6th grade).  Within each division, awards are given to the top three couples in the categories of costume and dance.  That's the premise.  But, the best part of it all is seeing these young people learn to dance with a partner.  It's part of life in a small town, and it brings back so many memories.

This was Carter's first year (and according to him, maybe his last, haha).  On the way to practice one day Peter was with us and said he couldn't wait to dance.  Carter said he wished he was Peter so he could sit and watch and let Peter do all the dancing.

He and one of my very best friend's daughter paired up.  They worked really hard throughout the week, and Friday came bringing Carter a sore throat - so he said he couldn't participate.  He still did, but was a little out of his element.

He was so excited that he found a little medal of Mary right before the dance and kept it in his pocket incase he got nervous, sweet boy.  

Then, the competition began with the partners being introduced.  Carter tipped his hat to his partner and then decided his hat might get in the way of his dancing, so he threw it out into the crowd, and they roared with laughter.  It was precious to watch him dance round and round and look for people he knew in order to calm some nerves.  He'd wave and get right back to it.

The fourth song in, he had a bathroom emergency and missed that dance, but he came back out for the last two and finished strong.

Then we waited for all of the groups to go and the judges to tally their scores.  The announcer told them they were all winners (you know the speech).  Well, being the realist that he is (coupled with not feeling well), Carter didn't quite understand why he didn't get a prize if he was a "winner."  So, on the way out the door, a bit upset, he told his Daddy that he just couldn't understand why "the man would tell him a fib!  Did you hear what he said?  He said we were ALL WINNERS!  And, do I have a prize?  I lost, and he lied."

Lots of learning took place this past week...from dancing to understanding competition.  It was fun. And, as you can see, I'm a proud mom.  I cannot believe he's doing these things already, but since I can't stop time, I'm going to enjoy it.

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