The house I grew up in – from first grade until I left for college – our family room was in the basement

It was a large room with a fireplace at the end and like many houses a metal pole halfway across the floor to stabilize the weight for the floor above.  I thought of our family room – which went from the front of the house all the way to the back – as my stage.

I love to dance and when I was younger I would use our family room as my dance stage.  I would throw on some music and would choreograph my dances.  One of the moves I added into my routines quite often was swinging on the pole.  Typically, I would just do a quick swing around the pole.  But once in a while, I would lift myself up and swing with my legs in a side sweep – one leg knee is bent and the other leg extends all out –  and wound around the pole to the ground.  As I reflect on those times, I can just see myself having fun creating dance moves and routines in my basement.  While I thought the routines were amazing, I laugh to myself now as I’m pretty sure they were more amusing than amazing.

I’m proud to say I once was a pole dancer.  I really loved dancing in my basement and today as a grown-up there are many a day that I break out into a dance party in my living room.   I’m a firm believer that everyone should dance whether it’s in your living room or in your basement.   There is nothing like a dance party to lift your spirits and well it’s just plain fun.  We all could use more fun in our lives.

Besides dancing in the basement, I also acted and practiced my speeches.  However, it wasn’t only my basement that I used as my stage.  One night when I was babysitting for the family just a few houses down from mine, I was in their basement – after the kids were in bed of course – practicing my one character play I created for Mr. Ploetz’s history class.  I was standing on a chair working on my character and never heard Dean (the dad) come into the house.  He came down the stairs and stood in the doorway watching until I turned around.  I admit I was slightly embarrassed but he had a smile on his face and just laughed.   I would go on to get an A for my character and to perform that character for all of Mr. Ploetz’s classes plus for a few historical societies and DAR (Daughters of American Revelation) meetings.

I’m very thankful I had a basement that was my stage.  It taught me to do the things I love, helped me learn how to create, helped me laugh and left me with countless memories that make me smile and light up every time I think about them.

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