My third grade choir teacher was awesome. She didn’t teach me how to sing for shit (my god, I’m a terrible singer), but the class and our performances were absolute blasts. We put on two shows each year: one at Christmas and one in the spring. I would audition for solo or duet positions, but was never selected. Like I said, I can’t sing. I can sure dance, though, and so she would place me in a lot of different dance numbers and because I was really short, I was always in the front row of the choir, so it was really important for me to also be really sharp during all of the choreography that the full choir performed together, or at least that’s what I told myself.
Anyway, I still remember all the basic choreography from my third grade winter concert. Whenever I’m in a store around the holidays, or a Christmas songs comes on the radio, my mind immediately flashes to third grade choir and the santa hat I had to wear that was too big for my head. I’ll catch myself performing the steps we did for the Jingle Bell Rock dance. I remember when I’m supposed to fold my hands in front of me and when to point out toward the audience during The Christmas Song (aka Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). I can still picture Gail Henry, tall and lanky, with glasses that kept slipping off of her face, holding her oversized candy cane and leading the line of dancers to It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.
I cannot hear Christmas carols without these choir images flooding my brain. I would never agree to actually do it, but if someone asked me to perform the full dance to Jingle Bell Rock, I could probably do it all, step for step, right now. That’s kind of horrifying.