Monday, April 1, 2013

15 Memories of a Girl Who Danced in the 80s

1.  Lynn Stanford's Music for Ballet Class, which to this day sends my soul soaring.

2.  Stirrup tights, the awkward older sister of convertible tights.

3.  The Jane Fonda wrestling-style leotard with a striped tank underneath that I wore to jazz class.

4.  A Very Young Dancer, which I read with awe and reverence, every chance I got.

3.  Leg warmers, at least one pair, were a must!

4.  The F movies - Flashdance, Fame, Footloose, Fast Forward, in addition to, of course, Stayin' Alive, White Nights, Dirty Dancing, Breakin' and Beat Street.

5.  The day I got my bubble gum pink Capezio pointe shoes in Pavlova.  The other models were Nicolini, Ultimo and Contempora, oh yeah, and Duro-Toe.  

6.  My jazz teacher who taught the whole class in heels.  And I thought she was the coolest woman on the planet. 

7.  Hiking my leotard or trunks (TRUNKS!) higher than my hipbones, often by running an elastic, belt or bandana underneath and fastening/tying it in front.  

A CHORUS LINE, Nicole Fosse (gray leotard, left of center),
 Michelle Johnston (foreground, center), 1985. ©Columbia Pictures


9.  Making myself a Flashdance-style, i.e., cut to reveal one shoulder, shirt, yes, for jazz class.

10.  The more the bounce the better the stretch.  Wow!

11.  The Solid Gold Dancers.  That jazz-hand isolation series.  Finishing the number coiled around some dude's ankle.  I wanted this for myself.  Really.  I know.  Shut up!

12.  It seemed possible to be in every single dance movie, like Cynthia Rhodes.

13.  Gelsey Kirkland.  So beautiful, but um, yeah. . .

14. White Capezio jazz shoes. And like ballet slippers, no split sole, so if you didn't have any feet, you were in trouble! Then black jazz shoes came on the scene - how rebellious!

15.  Having runs and holes in your tights, like a Harvey Edwards poster, was cool - it meant you were truly a dedicated and suffering  artist.


  1. I love you! :) such wonderful memories!

    1. Thanks! I will never forget how excited I was to dance as a kid. It's why I can't leave the fair...

  2. So cool to see into your world. I wasn't a dancer, but dance culture was so pervasive in the 80s that I can relate to so much of this. I had the flashdance sweatshirt to prove it.


    1. Dance was everywhere then, wasn't it? I remember wearing my white capezio jazz shoes to school!

  3. I can so relate! Especially to Lynn Sanford and A Very Young Dancer. Great memories!

    1. I'm so happy this post spoke to you, Melissa!

  4. Love this post! I laughed at the "higher than the hip bones" and the belt. I recently had a conversation with my daughter about wearing a belt and she was like, why would you need a belt? Fashion dear, 80's fashion I replied. :)

    I too remember thinking my jazz teacher was so sassy and the Solid Gold dancers - a highlight of my week.

    Thanks for the memories.

    1. The 80s - belted everything! And Solid Gold was a Saturday night staple. I really didn't care about anything on the show except those dancers!

  5. I really wish I'd been a dancer. I truly would have been terrible, but I would have been very happy.

  6. I loved the F movies, but my heart belongs to Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Girls Just Want to Have Fun.


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