Misgivings of a dance god

I am a dance god.
I stand at the front.

I can honour every beat with every fibre of my body.
And I can flick and move my feet with a cool kick-slide.
With my independent shoulders and perfected body roll,
I can dazzle all beholders and achieve my every goal.

But the class behind me isn't so lucky.
They paid for this.

I see them stumble in the mirrors,
See them hesitate and halt.
I am their instructor,
And I know it's all my fault.

My routine was too ambitious.
I'll have to lose those triple steps.
But this is getting repetitious.
Why can't they get these simple steps?

"So that's now walk, walk, walk, walk,
Starting on the left.
That's it: walk, walk, walk... wa-
No, left, left... OTHER LEFT!"

Can I make this much more easy,
Short of standing on the spot?
I'm meant to give them all a grading.
Fred Astaires, these lot, are not.

But perhaps I shouldn't panic.
Rehearsals have their troughs, and peaks.
I will laugh about this one day.
But the show is in TWO WEEKS!

I am a dance god.

Oh god.

I wrote this poem in a break between two lessons I taught at a community centre in Fenham. The lessons were aimed at 'disadvantaged youth'. In the first lesson, I spent an hour on a very simple routine, and at the end of the hour, absolutely no one had got any of the steps. One lad just stood there, apparently paying heed to everything I said, but never moved at all. No one turned up for the second lesson. This was the circumstance of my inspiration. So, unless you were at one of these lessons, this poem is not about you, nor about me either for that matter.


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