21 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Our daughter comes to visit every week on her way to Line Dancing. It’s her favorite sport and exercise. She has always loved to dance from the time we danced around the kitchen banging on pot lids with wooden spoons when she and her brother were kids.

Bill and I liked to dance too. We were round-dancers, and square dancers and Bill’s sister even taught a dance exercise class in Germany when the Air Force stationed them there. Dancing must have been in all our genes

Here’s how I got my start.

In 1943, when I was five years old and Daddy was on the front lines, Mother, my brother, and I lived in an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house.



Our small town had an apple-blossom festival and I loved the parade with the majorettes swinging their batons. Mother knew it and signed me up for lessons.

But I have one eensy-weensy fault when it comes to learning things. It’s just that I don’t believe in practicing. Or maybe I believe in it, but there are so many other exciting things to do, like read a book.

So after a few lessons when I still couldn’t begin to twirl, the teacher told Mother she was wasting her money. Grandmother stepped in to pay for ballet and tap dance lessons.

For that class, I walked the three blocks to Main Street and climbed the stairs to the dance studio above one of the stores. One day I walked past my friend Kay Lowry’s house, hoping she’d come out so we could play together in her backyard.

It was a wonderful backyard with a huge cherry tree that we could climb, and beautiful flower beds we just knew angels lived in.




So this one day, Kay did come out. We were in the backyard playing when we heard the doorbell ring and in a minute both mothers came out the back door. Mine had my ballet slippers in her hand and I thought, oh, oh. I forgot my slippers.

Mother said it was time to go home now. When we got out on the sidewalk she seemed calm, but she did have a few questions for me.

“Did you go to dancing class?”

“Yes, Mother.”

Whack! The slippers collided with my back-side.

“Who else came to class?”

“Uh,” I thought fast. “Betty, Jane, Anette…”

Whack again.

For each answer, the ballet slippers told me that skipping class and lying about it wasn’t a very good idea. Mother had walked to town and up the stairs thinking it would be pleasant to walk home with me.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to quit dancing. That meant that when it came time to perform for the soldiers at Camp Carson, I could go. Mother made my blue-checked, gingham pinafore, shined my black patent-leather tap shoes, and signed up to drive a car full of little dancers to the one-year-old military base outside Colorado Springs. She dabbed freckles across my nose with an eyebrow pencil. My hair was in two braids with bows on the ends. We sang and danced, just like Shirley Temple. I was the one on the end that watched the other girls but still couldn’t get the steps right.

We danced to “Whistle While You Work,” from Snow White with small brooms resting on our shoulders.



The soldiers gave us a standing ovation. I’m sure we all thought about our daddies who were, “Over There.”

2 Responses to “Dancing”

  1. Onisha Ellis May 21, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

    It seems you have remained true to yourself. You are indeed a free spirit.


    • divoran09 May 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

      what a lovely compliment. thank you

      Liked by 1 person

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