Who’s ready to dance on Dancing With the Stars?

I was ten years old when my nana taught me one of the best survival skills I’ve ever learned.

I had come home teary-eyed and my nana had asked me what was wrong.

I told her I had a falling out with my friend, Ana, and as a result, she had told everyone in school that we were no longer best friends.

My nana looked at me and said, “Is that all, child? It’s time you start preparing for life; for life is pain and this is just the beginning.”

I didn’t understand how that was supposed to make me feel better but then she said, “When life kicks you in the teeth, there are two things you can do–you can either laugh or you cab dance. Today. we dance!”

Tears still streaming down my face, I looked at my granny like she had lost her mind.

Brushing aside my reaction, she quickly began twirling.

Snapping her fingers, she kicked her feet left and right.

It didn’t take long for me to join in and together, we danced in circles even though the only music was my nana humming off tune.

Needless to say, after a few minutes, we collapsed on the floor laughing.

Nana looked at me and said, “And that, Bella, is how you rid yourself of sadness.”

Decades have passed since I learned that lesson.

Laughing and dancing have gotten me through many of life’s rough patches.

Feeling like it’s not fair to keep this strategy to myself, I’ve shared it with everyone I know.

However, one night, while walking on the opposite side of my street, I noticed that the bamboo blinds in my kitchen are a bit see through.

It was this discovery that gave me the idea that, more than tell people about nana’s survival strategy, I could show them.

And so for the past year, I’ve put on an almost nightly dance performance, while I cook or clean the kitchen.

Slicing and dicing tomatoes prompts me to swivel my hips while music plays in the background.

Sweeping allows me to bust out moves that would make John Travolta proud.

And meal preparation encourages me to “drop it like it’s hot” and attempt Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.

There are times when even little Roxy will join me.

Together we attempt to tango and dance the jive.

Are the neighbors across the street laughing their asses off?

More than likely, yes.

But it’s all good because either way, I’m helping to spread nana’s sage advice.

Not to mention that getting through life’s ups and downs never felt this good.

Roxy scouts out audience members.
Roxy wears her new coat in preparation for tonight's show.
The animal print collar is perfect for tonight's rumba.

When was the last time you danced in your kitchen?


Today I’m linking up with Heidi’s “Black and White Wednesday.”

Black and White Wednesday


50 thoughts on “Who’s ready to dance on Dancing With the Stars?

  1. What wonderful advice from your nana! Thank you for sharing. I definitely love hosting dance parties (for one) when I’m home. And it is a great way to break out of a bad mood. I was worried when I moved in with my fiance that these would have to go away out of embarrassment, but it turns out they are just as fun, especially if I can get him to join in!

    1. Caryn, how wonderful that you partake in this practice! And like you mention, it’s even better that you’re able to make your significant other join in. Keep hosting those dance parties and chasing away the blues! :)

  2. This is such a great story and such a wonderful message. Thank you for sharing, Bella! I am going to try to dance even though I can’t keep a beat :)

    1. Laura, something tells me you selling yourself short and are more than capable of shaking your booty! Oh, to be a fly on the wall of your kitchen! :)

    1. Ariana, where have you been, love? I’ve missed you! I’m delighted you like the advice and that you’re already a follower of the dance and laugh movement! :)

  3. Nana is one smart woman, Bella. If your dancing entertains AND educates the neighbors, so much the better! No doubt you’re the talk of the town! :)

    1. Jann, I think the neighbors on the opposite side of the street may like me better than the ones that live underneath me. We’re really noisy people! In this country, that is frowned upon but I don’t care. I say as long as hell is not breaking loose at inappropriate evening hours. :)

    1. Lori, they don’t make ’em like nana no more! I’m tickled pink you like the photos. I still have to do my blog visits from Heidi’s link up! I’m excited to see your submission! :)

    1. Oh Michael Ann, what doesn’t embarrass these kids? If it were up to them, we wouldn’t do anything! I say, live and let live! After all, are we allowed to say anything when they act silly? :)

  4. Lola loves it when I dance around the house and she tries to join in. My hubby… not so much, but he is always entertained. Music and dance lift my spirits like nothing else can.
    BTW… last night I saw Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away. Amazing performance! Those danceers can really move.

    1. Shary, you finally saw the Twyla Sharp? I remember you did a post about it recently. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can picture lovely Lola joining you for a dance spin around the house! :)

    1. Aw, Kim, thank you! I hope you know I feel the same way about your writing. I love, love your blog! Your latest post, “Broken Halleluiahs” broke my heart. I send hugs your way, friend.

  5. Bella, your nana sounds like somebody I’d love to meet! What a wonderful, practical bit of advice. I’m glad you took it to heart — bet Roxy enjoys her nightly dances, too!

    1. Debbie, my nana was one in a million. My favorite memories always involve her teachings and anecdotes. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. As for Roxy, she’s open to anything, even dancing! :)

  6. Your Nana had the spirit of a quiet warrior in her and she pass on to you a beautifully simple step that combat sadness and that will always bring you smiles and probably very strong hips.

    1. Ofelia, you got me chuckling over the “strong hips” comment! You betcha! I tell you, I feel like my hips are double jointed. Something tells me this can’t be good when I’m old, and that I’m probably going to be a hip replacement candidate, but for now, “a mover las caderas!” jaja! :)

  7. Your nana sounds like one wise lady. I used to dance around the kitchen when I was cleaning or if I had one too many glasses of wine on a Saturday night. It’s been along time though… maybe that’s what I need. I do take a zumba class once a week. Really cheers me up, especially in winter.

    1. Savvy, I need to drink more wine. I hear it makes for a more fun time! hee hee! Talking about zumba, I’m dying to try it! If only I could find classes here! My sister’s taking classes and she says nothing makes her sweat as much as zumba. I’m glad your classes keep you upbeat when it’s gray and cold! :)

    1. Heidi, linking up to your Black and White is getting to be a good habit! :) I’m delighted you danced all morning. Nothing like dancing to get your blood going early in the morning! Roxy is tickled pink you like her shots! :)

  8. I love to dance and will use any excuse to start moving. My kitchen is too small, though. But, anywhere else, especially if I’m on line somewhere (like the pharmacy or bank), I start tap dancing. I’ve always said, you can’t be sad when you’re dancing. :)

    1. Monica, I can totally see you tap dancing as you wait in line! hee hee! Too right, sister. You can’t be sad if you’re “moviendo el esqueleto”! :)

    1. Belle, did your great-aunt teach you to cha cha cha? hee hee! I think she would’ve gotten on fabulously with my nana! What a pair! You must write a post about Aunt Cha Cha! :)

  9. Dancing in the kitchen? That would be yet another way to cut myself; if I don’t focus on the kitchen stuff while i’m there, I easily get hurt, I’m that clumsy.

    Your nana’s advice does sound good, though; dancing or laughing (or both) is a great way to deal with the rough patches — as long as you don’t cut yourself while doing it. :)

    1. Ivana, I have to confess to not being a very pragmatic person. Unfortunately, that has led to my getting myself cut many times in life. hee hee! I think by this point, dancing in the kitchen has become as second nature as washing dishes. I’m glad you agree with nana! :)

  10. That is beautiful advice from your grandma!I don’t dance- but I do break into an impromptu jig when I’m happy.And the laughter?It’s always with me.Some say I laugh way too much-but I know you can never do that.
    Also,Roxy is so cute!Makes me want to steal her haha.
    peace and love,

    1. Sweta, hello and welcome! I’m delighted you approve of my nana’s advice! I love that you like to laugh and dance! And of course you’re right–you can never laugh too much! It’s what makes life bearable sometimes, if you ask me. Roxy’s tickled pink that you think she’s cute enough to steal. hee hee! :)

  11. Great advice. Dancing cures everything! If you need someone to hum off-key, I’m your gal! I hope you are stirring up your neighborhood with a little break dancing and awesome moonwalking. Just think…if the economy really hits the skids you and Roxy can become street performers. I swear whatever small change I have left will hit your tip jar!

    1. bwhahaha! Annie, if it comes to that, Roxy and I will be grateful for your contribution! OMG, can you the likes of us in a park breakdancing and dancing the tango? Something tells me we’d be better off doing stand up! hee hee! :)

  12. Just love how you “put on a show” for whoever happens to go by! I remember dancing more when my kids were little…we would put the music on and let it rock. My hubby knew the quickest way to get me in the mood was to put on a soft, slow song and pull me into his arms for a dance…all alone in our living room. :)
    Really enjoyed this post…your nana was a wise woman. Think it’s time to dust off some of my old records…or at the very least fire up the Ipod~
    Thanks for stopping by and visiting! So nice~

    1. Kristi, hello and welcome! Your husband sounds like a wonderful man. My Significant Other is known for pulling me close for an impromptu dance as well. You have to admire that in a man! I’m delighted you enjoyed the post. Indeed, do fire up the iPod and boogey! They say it’s good for the soul! :)

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog! That story made me smile. I am a terrible dancer/singer etc but there have been several times when after being so frustrated I just turn on the music and dance with my little guy. I love it, no better feeling in the world!

    1. Hello and welcome, Candace! There’s nothing sweeter than dancing with our small sons, is there? I still remember when my son was four, and dancing with mom wasn’t in the least embarrassing. How I miss those days! :) Thanks for dropping by! :)

  14. I swear we have lived parallel lives. Your Nana and my Grandmother went to the same school of wisdom. I remember similar conversations with mine, crying and whining over something I thought was the end of the world, only to receive tough love or a twirl around the kitchen floor. Mine also taught me a lot about life through ‘kitchen wisdom’, I’d talk, she’d get me to help her cook and talk me through my issue by explaining how to make something, but really in her direction was the information I needed to understand life.. Wise women.

    1. Brenda girl, they don’t make ’em like that no more! I tell you, I miss my nana like hell and it’s been more than 20 years since she died. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. Like you mention, these old sages had so much to teach, so much guidance to provide. But of course, back in the day, grandparents were respected, revered almost. You know, that’s my mom’s biggest complaint–that she doesn’t seem to have the same level of bonding with her grandkids that my nana had with us. But again, every thing in the past always seems so much better! :)

  15. Bella,

    Lately, I have begun to bemoan the fact that I have met all these awesome people via the Blogosphere and that I will never get to meet them. You are one of them.

    I can’t say how many times I’ve visited your space and been reminded of a much needed lesson, shed a tear, or laughed my ass off. I thank you for every one of those moments. Often the world is a cesspool of disappointment and it seems we MUST find a way to stave off sadness, disappointment, anger and hurt. I usually do that via music and I see I need to move my azz and dust off my dancing shoes. ;)



    1. Coco, lady, thank you from the bottom of my heart for truly making my day with your beautiful and kind comment. Something tells me that were we to meet, we would have a grand time! I’m tickled pink that you find this wee blog a space that provides you with some respite. I am truly grateful. Now go get your dancing shoes, woman! It’s Friday! Thank goodness! :)

    1. Thu, hello and welcome! Any friend of Laura’s a friend of mine, so pull up and chair and make yourself comfortable! I’m delighted you’re here! :)

  16. It’s true — something about dancing makes everything happy and okay. Sophie and I love to dance around the family room. And I have great memories of my sisters and I having our own dance parties in my parent’s living room.

    1. Leah, my sisters and I had dance parties too! Oh my goodness, we even put on shows for the family! Good times! I can so see you dancing with little Sophie! How lovely! :)

  17. I love these BW photos. Roxy looks terrific and fashionable. I like to do a happy dance in my kitchen when I’m cooking, or when my food comes out nicely, or when the scent of what I’m baking or cooking feels the air… ;-)

    Keep dancing!

    1. Paz, I love that you do a happy dance in your kitchen! Good for you! Roxy is thrilled that you think she’s fashionable. You know, she’s the real fashionista of the family! I will do a blog post soon about her new seasonal wardrobe! hee hee! :)

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