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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