…in broad daylight and we didn’t wear a disguise!  (Worm and I are brave soldiers in the constant battle for equal treatment of men in this woman’s world.)  Publicly, we scoff at the cornucopia of mommy and baby activities in San Diego.  But deep down, we yearn to participate!  And so we did just that after hearing through the grapevine that a dance class was being offered in the neighborhood.

I’m not a mommy, but I play one at home (and I’m even having sympathy pains with this pregnancy)!  And for me, that’s good enough.  I just hoped that it was good enough to sneak us into the blatantly gender-biased dance class unobserved…(Do you think my mustache would give me away as a dad?  Nah, not in crunchy California where mustachioed women are gaining broader acceptance by everyone except Republicans.)

The Mommy and me sing and dance class is one-hour long, $5 a family, and designed for toddlers.  So you’re telling me that I can give someone $5 to let my kid off-leash to run around their store like a maniac?   Where do I sign up!  I didn’t believe it.  I had to see for myself what kind of establishment would allow for such lunacy.

A Time To Dance dance studio is the place.  When we arrived and I was getting Worm out of the car, I kept saying “We’re late. We’re late.  We’ve got to hurry.  This is not a good first impression.”  And then as we walked in, I breathed a sigh of relief at a room full of screaming toddlers bouncing off the floors, mirrors and the ceiling.  (Duh.  We’re fine.  What was I thinking?  This is not a job interview.  A good first impression for toddlers is sharing one another’s boogers.)

“Worm, I don’t think anyone will notice the ‘daddy’ as long as you’re screaming at the top of your lungs and flapping your arms a bunch.  We should be incognito.  There’s too much going on for any mom here to focus on more than their own child and the object he or she is crashing towards.  Just do me a favor, for the next 60 minutes, my name is ‘Ma ma’.  Ok?”

We dropped our entrance fee into the bowl and I scouted the adult crowd.  Immediately, I gravitated towards the lone bearded man in the corner of the room and introduced myself.  We exchanged the clan handshake.

“Our group is growing!” he exclaimed.

“Once we get a foothold in this place, the other SAHDs will be called in for reinforcements.  We won’t be outnumbered for long.”  I winked in response.

Talk about nuts.  (Not him and I.  The atmosphere of the dance class!)

At first, the Worm clung to my neck like a baby lemur with sharp fingernails that need to be clipped tonight sometime after bath and dinner time.  Worm’s survey of the dizzying situation was complete within 10 minutes.  (Worm is like a pot of chili ramen noodles.  Give him some time to warm up and eventually he’ll be a spoonful of bubbly spicy awesomeness for under 25 cents.)  He was ready to be set loose.  And off he went.

It’s amazing what your child pays his mind to when thrown in a new environment.  For Worm, it was:

  • Why is that light off?
  • The music is coming out of that box on the wall.  I can hear it.
  • What the hell are all these kids screaming about?
  • This place has the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song?  You kept telling me you made it up, Dad!
  • Why is that kid holding my new favorite plastic red cone?  Gimme that!
  • Wow!  Beach balls!
  • Why is everyone dancing in a circle?  While they’re distracted, I’m going to grab some of these finger puppets.  Dad, put these in your pocket.
  • Shit, they stopped moving.  Are they looking at us?  Run!
  • A parachute!  Let’s try to walk acr…Whoa!  This thing’s extraordinarily slippery, if I do say so myself!
  • Amazing!  There’s ten of me in the mirrors.  And we’re all handsome!  Except that one way over there…
  • I’m tired Dad.  I’m ready to go home.

“Dude, we’ve got 45 minutes left.” I whispered to Worm.  “Why don’t we try to participate with the rest of the class?  Don’t you want to learn how to dance so that you can be on SYTYCD and make your mother proud of you?  You wouldn’t want to disappoint her.  So, let’s work on the pirouette and petite allegro.  Point the toes.  Point!”

I'm All Danced Out, Dad.  Stop Taking Pictures and Let's Go Home and Nap!

I’m All Danced Out, Dad. Stop Taking Pictures and Let’s Go Home and Nap!

Ok, so maybe the dance teacher was only trying to get the kids to touch their knees and jump up.  I just thought it be impressive if my son did some ballet techniques in the middle of the room instead.  (I only want what I think is best for Worm.  Is that too much to ask?)

Sweet!  Dancing With Parachutes!  That's Brilliant!

Sweet! Dancing With Parachutes! That’s Brilliant!

We actually had quite a bit of fun at dance class.  It wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be.  The benefit of locking a bunch of toddlers in a room together is at some point they are forced to collide interact and that is precisely what Worm’s little life needs.  I’m pretty sure the dance studio didn’t mind that a couple dads came in through the side door and had some fun.  Did Worm dance?  Not quite.  There’s definitely room for improvement, so we’re going back for more.  The sky’s the limit!

Am I going to YouTube some breakdancing moves for us to do in class next week?  YES!  We’re going to show ’em ‘Gangnam Style’!

Related Links:

A Time to Dance Dance Studio – There’s more than just toddler dancing…