Square Dancing

My wife, 17-year-old daughter and my mom love to watch Dancing With The Stars. Me, not so much, although I was into it last season to cheer on local actress and entertainer Janel Parish. Our daughter chalks up my lack of enthusiasm to an inability to dance. She has no idea that her mother and I were pretty good dancers back in the day.

My wife always has been a great dancer, and when I met her, she was being considered as an aerobics dance instructor. As far as I go, my dancing went back as far as learning the box step from my mom, and later how to waltz from my Aunty Margaret, who used to be a ballroom dance instructor.

All that lay pretty dormant until the time of disco. We had just graduated from high school and were hitting all the clubs in Honolulu. The movie Saturday Night Fever set the tone for how we would dress and dance. A high school buddy of mine and I decided to sign up for lessons to learn “touch dancing” so we could impress the ladies. We went to Arthur Murray dance studio, and after our paid lessons we were asked to stay on as instructors. I already had a full-time job, so I had to decline, but my friend went on to become a pretty amazing dancer.

Of course, all that was in the days of “black and white,” which is how the young women I work with refer to the days before they were born. I’ve pretty much forgotten my “moves,” but I can still dance when the situation calls for it. Some of the events my wife and I have attended lately had dancing, so we’ve hit the floor a few times.

At a recent one, someone recorded video of us and sent it to me. On DWTS night the other week, I broke out the recording and wanted to show our daughter that her mom and I still could “cut a rug.” I literally had to force her to watch it. With her mouth wide open, she pretended to gag when she begged me to shut it off. Then she said, “Promise me you’ll never do that in public again. If you do, I’ll have to move to the Mainland.”

My wife and I laughed it off. It wasn’t too long ago that I was the only man our daughter would dance with. She’d drag me out to the floor, place her feet on mine and we’d dance away. I guess my next one with her will be when she dons a wedding gown. I can wait for that one, for sure.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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