So now you know about the rare voice gene that runs in my family – the one that doesn’t work with microphone technology.
Did you also know that we have an extra vertebrae in our back? Oh, yes, we do. And attending organized dance lessons after the first grade puts us at high risk for paralyzation. No kidding. Oh wait – that’s just another lie my mother told me.
In first grade, I took modern dance classes. I loved them. My friend and I went together, and I thought I was such a good dancer. I loved the recitals. I loved the costumes. I loved feeling like I was really good at something.
My mother, on the other hand, apparently dreaded the long drive to dance class. Didn’t enjoy the long recitals. Wasn’t impressed with the costumes. So after my first year of dance had wrapped up, and I was bubbling over about how next year I wanted to take jazz and tap too, my mom told me the “truth.”
It went something like this:
“Oh, honey. I’m so sorry. I should have told you this sooner, but I didn’t want to ruin your year of dance and make you worry.
There’s a very rare gene that runs in our family. I have it, your grandma has it, your great-grandma has it. We have an extra vertebrae in our lower backs. That’s why we can’t touch our toes. And dancing after the first grade is very dangerous when we have this extra vertebrae.
Dancing in first grade is perfectly safe, but once you get to second grade, doing any type of organized dance could cause you to become paralyzed. Dancing at home is safe. Or going to school dances when you’re older is okay too. But there’s something weird about organized dance that puts us at very high risk for being paralyzed.
And I love you – and I don’t want you to be paralyzed. So I’m sorry that you can’t dance next year.”