I wouldn’t say I’ve always been the biggest fan of a parade. I’m short-ish, so I can never see anything, and I’m not nearly motivated enough to arrive early and stake out my spot on the sidewalk. However, being IN a parade is a whole ‘nother story!
I’ve gone on previously about my devotion to ODC Dance School’s Rhythm and Motion Program, and I’ve been going to class fairly consistently for about five years now. I wasn’t ready to take my dancing public, though, until this year when Dudley Flores, artistic director and master trainer of the program, introduced some of the choreography he and his fellow instructors had created for this year’s SF Pride Parade. I had so much fun in class that day that I was moved to sign up to dance in the parade. And I’m so glad I did—this year, with the death of DOMA, the parade was extra special.
But as we exited Main Street and made our Pride Parade debut onto Market Street, I began to panic. These are the thoughts that raced through my mind: I’m screwing up and people are going to make fun of me; the people around me are screwing up and people are going to make fun of them; my cell phone has slid from my waistband into my butt; OMG there are so many people watching us; it’s harder than I expected to dance and move forward at the same time; these latex tights are hot. Then I realized I was going to be in this parade for a good long while and I’d better relax (and find someplace else for my phone).
So I fished the phone out of my pants and forced myself to do the terrifying thing Dudley (that’s his adorable mug above) had urged us to during rehearsal: make eye contact with the audience and smile. As it turned out, everyone was smiling right back. That’s when I realized the point was not to perform perfectly—if it were I never would have been allowed to participate! The essence of Rhythm & Motion is the notion that anyone can dance. You don’t have to get all the moves right to enjoy dancing—to feel utterly elated by it, even. And seriously, no one you want to be around cares if you make a mistake.
Gat Rimon skirt from Mira Mira!
That attitude of acceptance and freedom is what Pride is all about, and it’s also just kind of a happy way to live, don’t you think? In any case, there ended the self-conscious interior dialogue I was having with myself and began the most fun parade experience of my life. The best part was when Kourosh showed up with Ms. Frida wearing her rainbow dress. OMG I LOVE THAT BABY. It’s so wonderful to think she’ll never know a time when same sex marriage was barred by the federal government.
Recology of the Coast photo bomb! 😀