• 84°
Hartselle Enquirer

In search of the last dance

By Staff
Leada Devaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Miss Dot's claim to fame was that, after two kids and a couple of years past age 40, she could still do the splits.
This was amazing to all of us in her ballet class. We were about 4 or 5 and to us, she was the best dancer in the world.
At the end of every dance class, she would haul out a gymnastic mat and let us twist and tumble to our hearts' content. Our parents probably loved this, because we got all our energy out before they took up home, so no one grumbled if we stayed a few minutes late to turn one more cartwheel.
At the end of each of these gymnastic sessions, Miss. Dot – I never knew her last name – would do the splits. We applauded to the best of our 4 and 5 year-old abilities.
Miss Dot was one of my first ballet teachers. She and Miss Sheets – who's first name I never knew – were the instructors in my ballet class. I was 4 years old and loved ballet, or least my version of it, which involved shiny costumes, bright lights and getting to wear make-up.
Each year, we had a ballet recital. It was held at a large high school in Birmingham and parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters filled the auditorium.
Miss Dot and Miss Sheets had two dance schools: one was in Huffman, where I grew up, and one was in Vestavia, commonly referred to as "Over The Mountain."
"The Over-The-Mountain girls are wearing corsages," I heard our mothers whisper.
By the next year, we all had corsages, too.
Most of us 4 and 5 year olds were either raindrops or daffodils or butterflies. Our parents sat through hours of dancing just to see us flap our pink wings for two minutes.
By age 9 or 10, we had graduated to solos. That was the best because we got to pick out our own costumes and dance all by ourselves in front of the big spotlight.
At least by this point the parents got to enjoy about 5 minutes of their child dancing. Of course they had to go through 30 other 5-minute dances before they got to see their own Twinkerbell.
I kept dancing until my early teens, years after Miss Sheets passed away. Miss Dot was always my teacher and, for as long as I took dance from her, she could still do the splits.
Too bad I can't – that's a skill that's long gone.
Occasionally, however, I do pull out the old pair of ballet shoes in a box in my front closet.
They started their career as white, only to be painted silver for one recital or another. They are scuffed and old and flat as a pancake. But they are mine – and splits or no splits – they are part of a time I will always love.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan jail roof, HVAC systems to be replaced 

Hartselle

HCPAAA announces fundraiser winner  

At a Glance

Stalking victim filed protection order against accused Hartselle man 

Hartselle

Local scholarship recipient honored during Auburn University reception

At a Glance

Stories of survival:October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month 

Editor's picks

Local woman leans on support system, faith through breast cancer diagnosis

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan Commission on Aging to receive vans for senior outings 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local homesteading event draws crowds eager to learn, connect 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Labor of love: Hartselle feeding ministry endures despite challenges of termites and inflation 

At a Glance

Holiday market gets new home, date

Morgan County

Police identify Falkville man killed in two-vehicle crash 

Morgan County

Morgan flu clinic set for Oct. 17 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

James Spann inspires young meteorologists at Barkley Bridge Elementary School 

Hartselle

So fresh, so clean  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Distinguished Young Women program offers scholarship opportunities 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

State of schools address scheduled for Oct. 20 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle homecoming ignites school spirit

Hartselle

Hartselle High School announces Homecoming court  

At a Glance

ALDOT to pave on I-65N at Lacon and Priceville

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Rising to the challenge: Hartselle students send high-altitude balloon into stratosphere  

Morgan County

Morgan County Schools to spend some reserves on capital projects  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Depot Days draws crowd despite rainy day 

Danville

Dads on Duty: Danville Neel Elementary School fathers step up for carline patrol  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fall into fun at Hidden Rivers Farm in Hartselle 

x