Pas De Deux


During my youth, I took ballet and modern dance lessons for 9 years from a delicate woman named Miss June.

Because it was part of her job, Miss June spent those years chiding my solid self to “just tuck in your tummy as tight as you can, dear,”

and to this day, I still wish I’d had the wherewithal and presence of mind to reply, as I gestured to the scars behind her ears,

“Kind of like you had the skin on your face tucked and tightened, Miss June?”






23 responses to “Pas De Deux”

  1. actonbell Avatar

    I always wished that I had had dance lessons as a child, but I imagine I would have been made to feel even worse about my ugly, knock-kneed legs.

    It’s a shame that we can’t go back and say what we should’ve said. I should’ve said lots of things that I was too polite and sometimes just too cowardly to say, but might have made me feel better.

  2. furiousBall Avatar

    I’m going to attack Miss June or anyone with the name June in your honor today. woe be tide yo ass June

  3. yinyang Avatar

    We did a lot of tummy tucking in my ballet class, too, although most of my teachers were considerably younger than yours. I didn’t last for much longer than a year, though, because I couldn’t do the splits and I didn’t like getting up at 8 AM on Saturdays.

  4. flutter Avatar

    I tucked my tummy in during a jazz dance class once so hard that I think I cracked my spleen.

  5. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    Good for Miss June!

    I wish I had been tucking in my tummy since I had kids. The last one was 26 years ago, and if only I’d done all that tucking for all this time, I’d have a stomach you could flip pancakes on.

    Oh, yeah. Pancake shots on the bar. I am so upset that because of my indolence and lack of self-discipline, I missed out on that.

  6. Jeni Avatar

    Many moons ago -when I was a youngun’ my Mom used to chide me to “stand up straight and pull your stomach in.” However, trying to do both those things, at the same time, often interferes greatly with other necessities of life -like breathing! Then, as I got older and apparently she gave up on my posture, my slightly protruding tummy, she informed me that apparently I had been blessed with the “Johnson genes” and would have a big belly just like my Grandmother and one of her sisters. And be damned if her prediction didn’t come true too albeit it a few years later in life than it landed as part of my Grandma and her sister’s laps. Ah, the trials and tribulations of feminity, huh?

  7. kmkat Avatar

    I was seated across the table today from a woman who had either had a too-tight face lift or Botox — I am to ignorant to tell the difference. But her smooth face and utter lack of affect belied something.

  8. chelle Avatar

    I always think of the most WITTIEST things to say after the fact.

  9. citizen of the world Avatar
    citizen of the world

    snortAlthough I suspect you wouldn’t have gotten away with that response without paying for it!

  10. Wendy Avatar

    When I was little my family lived in Hawaii (military family) and I was enrolled in hula lessons. Obviously I wasn’t very good at it. The teacher proclaimed in frustration, “You can’t dance because you’re a Haole girl!” (in other words, “white girls can’t dance.”)

    I didn’t have a retort then (being 4 and all) and I don’t really have a retort now except “thanks a lot, racist lady” which is not funny enough to bother with. (Except that I just did.)

  11. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    Sorry to do this to you, but if you go to my site, you find an not so cheesy award for you. Hope the spring and warm weather will greet you soon.

  12. Diesel Avatar

    I’ll bet her real name was Late September too.

  13. movin down the road Avatar
    movin down the road

    HA HA! If it were today, she probably would have just started handing out Spanx.

  14. lime Avatar

    i can imagine her perpetual wince

  15. geewits Avatar

    At least you had a “delicate” teacher. My dance teacher was old school German and has given me permanent knee damage from making me force my turnout. And if we ever meet, I’ll remember not to blink so you won’t notice the light scars on my upper eyelids. My bad.

  16. monica Avatar

    oh the things the so called “well meaning” grownups can say to kids… and with that acid dripping “dear” at the end. grmpf.. you just want to shake them – real hard!

  17. Pearl Avatar

    One of my mother’s mantras: Suck it in.

    And actually, I do still suck it in. 🙂 It doesn’t help the jiggling, but at least I’m ready if someone punches me in the belly.


  18. J and J Acres Avatar
    J and J Acres

    Ah… the things I would say to people if I could go back…

  19. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    I so wanted dance lessons as all my friends took tap, toe and ballet, but my mother said I didn’t need them. (She was thrifty.) And then for as long as she lived, she chided me for being clumsy, remarking often that I looked so graceful that it was a mystery how I managed to bump into things regularly. (And I have the scars to prove it, although none of them is behind my ears.)

  20. Anonymous Avatar



  21. Pam Avatar

    My mother won many awards for her dancing as a child, so naturally enrolled me, her double-jointed non-athletic daughter. I still remember my exam piece which was suppose to end with a twirl and bow to the judges.My twirl left me bowing to the wall, judges behind my back.Cringe.

  22. Jonah K. Haslap Avatar
    Jonah K. Haslap

    Oh, poor Miss June. She had to go through life being known as “Miss June.” That’s enough for me to pity her.

  23. Karen MEG Avatar
    Karen MEG

    Those comebacks always come back way, way too late.

    But we’re enjoying it here, if that’s any consolation.

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