Angles, Angels and Dance

Leeza Gibbons, a television personality was on a show and she was talking about a sick relative and how hard it is to care for them. She said she needs kisses from angels to help her cope with the situation. Many times we feel we may need a kiss from an angel. I never believed in angels and many years ago I had an experience with an angel of sort.

Jerry had a large pharmacy for almost twenty-four years. It was an independent store, not affiliated with a big chain grocery store. Just an old time family runs business. I used to work there two days a week at the store and did book work at one time at home by hand long before there were computers to use doing that type of work.

We knew our customers by name and always greeted them graciously even for the smallest of a sale. It was a homey type business and every one knew everyone. The clerks, the pharmacists, the customers were like one big and happy group. There was a little and old man that came in daily. I guess he was about sixty something and of course I was forty something so I thought him old. He would look at me longingly and would call me "angel." Everyone would laugh and he would laugh and he continued to call me that. Whenever he would arrive at the front of the store, my husband who was on duty that day would yell out to him hi and he would say "where is my angel" meaning me. It was cute and sweet and I would go along with the jocund attitude because it was that type of relationship with customers, owners and sales clerks.

I even bought myself a key chain that had the word angel on it. I got to believe that somehow there might be angels around and if this man thought I was one (jokingly) that it was proper and fine and I would enjoy the moments. One day I realized that I had not seen Mr. Garland for several weeks and I asked the clerks had they seen him. They replied that they heard that Mrs. Garland was ill and he was no longer arriving daily at the store since he was caring for her. They were of modest means and had no children to help them in their health care needs.

So I got the address from the records and I got together a box and filled it with sweet things, household things and items he may need to help in her care and I sent it with our driver when he made deliveries to Mr. and Mrs. Garland. I signed it Angel and husband Jerry. I knew they could use the items and I got back such a sweet note. In the note he said "thank you my angel, the Mrs. and I appreciate your angelic deliverance and I always knew you were an angel." Not too long passed and Mrs. Garland died and he stopped coming in the store.

Everyone missed Mr. G not for the little business he gave us but for the smiling and loving personality he possessed. He was of such meager earnings in whatever he did, but he always had a smile and a joke and a beautiful charm.. He always referred to me as angel but in truth he was the angel. I was just the messenger. We can be angels to others on this earth and many of us can do this in our ballroom dancing. I am always preaching that we should inspire everyone we can to participate in dancing and of course the interest has spiraled since the dancing television shows of these years.

When we encourage folks to go out and dance now they should not perceive it as the way it was shown on the Dancing with the Stars show. They need not have expensive gowns or suits, they need not take dozens of lessons and they need not practice excessively like it was portrayed on the shows. They only need the willingness to learn, to study and to love it and to enjoy it. They need to realize that the television show was a bit of hype and that in real life one can learn ballroom dancing and not be so enamored of it that they invest too much money or even time that they may not have at the present moment There are ways to learn that are not costly. Some group lessons are not expensive and the social climate of a group lesson can be helpful by meeting and greeting and being seated with others at the dance party or the dance lesson. They only have to dress nicely and the clothes not be expensive or designer names. They can learn at their own pace and someday if they want to compete, they should consider the cost and the time and effort and can do so at their own free will when they desire it.

Dancing with the Stars is not representative of real life ballroom dancing. The voting by the public was more of a who has more fans type of thing and not representing who was the best and most talented dancer. Many who remained on should have been taken off weeks before they were voted off and many who were voted off should have remained and been given a chance at winning. Television shows are not always the true reality of our lives. In this instance, it did help to promote dancing and that was good and showed that with hard work anyone can learn.

Angels come in all sizes, all nationalities, and all ages and even if you do not have financial reserves, you can be an angel here on earth and you can give kisses as an angel without doing the actual deed. You can stimulate the thoughts in people who may be inclined to go out and dance and you can initiate the desire in their hearts. L’Oreal, the cosmetic company had a contest for Women of Worth and you were encouraged to nominate someone who does worthwhile deeds.

There are many out there - I call them People of Worth who deserve to be noticed because they help others to share in their love of dancing and promote the concept of dancing by enticing men and women to ballroom dance in their communities. I know of a few folks who drive single men and women to dances because these people no longer drive and would be sitting home because they had no transportation. There are other folks who will pick up someone who cannot get around easily and bring them in to take a dance lesson and that gives the person a chance for exercise and social times. These people are angels of the day.

William Arthur Ward said "the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires." The good friend dancer will help his fellow dancers to excel and to be happy in their dancing activities. They will ignite the flame of desire to become an excellent participant in this lovely activity of mind and exercise.

There are two words that you can change the letters back and forth. They are angle which means viewpoint or standpoint among some of its meaning and the word angel spelled with the same letters. Angel means benefactor in one of its meanings. To have an angle of a viewpoint on ballroom dancing and to be an angel and help someone are two words to have when we dance. The angle is our thought on dance and the angel is what we can be to a new dancer and we can use both words to help and encourage new dancers who are always a bit apprehensive in starting their dance ‘career.’

Many years ago in the seventies, when we first started to dance, there was an obnoxious older lady who had been dancing for about thirty years. When we would come to a social dance at the studio, it was difficult to figure out which song was a waltz or foxtrot. We would stand there or sit till we figured it out. She would yell out seeing our lack of knowledge and security in knowing this; she would say Jerry it is a waltz in a tone like we were stupid. Jerry it is a foxtrot. One day, I said to her very politely (though she did not deserve my respect), Jean please do not tell us, we will figure it out. I never forgot her for her lack of kindness towards new students. I vowed I would never do that to any new person like she did to us. It is a wonder; we did not walk out and never come back to ever dance again. We were lucky we had the fortitude to eliminate her intimidating voice and actions and to go on and do our dance thing.

People of Worth do not need L’Oreal cosmetic company to acknowledge them with monetary rewards. People of worth know that they are that and they give kisses every time they respond to others with giving them the responsibility to go out and learn to fill their time and life with a hobby such as dancing. People of Worth are angels and as Mr. Garland used to yell across the Alameda Pharmacy way back in nineteen hundred and eighty something "where is my angel" (meaning me), we can speak out and say here we are, we are your angel, we are your mentor and we will help you to sustain your love for ballroom dancing. We will be the stars of the dancing and we need no television show to exclaim this or to enhance our worth. We are the angels and we need no row of judges to tell us how good or how poor we did. We are people of worth and we know it. Mr. Garland asked where is my angel. Here we are. We older dancers are here to help the first time dancers and to encourage them with our help, our kindness, our encouragement, and our willingness to motivate these folks to continue on dancing because they will find great happiness in accomplishing this motivation to be happy from doing this.

So as Leeza Gibbons said she need a kiss from an angel, we can be that angel who plants an imaginary kiss on someone as we instill in them this thought that they too can dance, learn new steps, be happy at the studio learning and most of all keep their mind active.

The activity to the brain is as important as doing the steps well. You will feel unbelievably wonderful not only with your feet but with your mental activity. You will have been kissed by the angel who had the angle to bring you into the family of dance because after a while, the other dancers become like your second family. A family that is away from your immediate home family. A dance family consisting of all of us who simply love to dance. We continue on as kin. George Santayana said "family is one of nature’s masterpieces." Our dance family is a dynasty of performance. Perform we do in the most showing way of beauty. We dance for ourselves first and our hearts benefit from this love of this delightful portrayal of emotion and movement. That is a masterpiece and a jewel in a crown of regal realizations.

Always Keep On Dancing.

Elite Sohmer Clayman


July 2009