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Learning to walk all over again …

Now I know why we call inches high footwear “heels.” When you need them most, they vanish from sight. When they decide to reappear – like fair weather friends – they only cause you pain.

My high heeled boots and shoes hadn’t been worn in three years. Replaced by flats, runners and comfy ballet slippers. I suppose my lofty heels felt neglected, so they hatched a plan.

In my closet, cloaked in darkness, they did  mischief. Bunion busters. Scuff ups. Closet convoys. Spurious acts of nocturnal shoe shrinking (so they’d never be worn again.)

It is the shoes, right? Feet don’t keep on growing. Not like ears and noses. So the mutiny must have happened as I slept because now all my high heeled shoes are two sizes too small.

When I tried them on, my toes got pinched. And when I took a few steps forward, my ankles wobbled. Maybe I am out of practice.

It had been ages since I last got dressed up for an evening out. First, there was recovering from spinal injuries in a car crash a few years ago. Then there was a pandemic, lockdown and isolation.

All of which had turned me into a hermit crab

This is no surprise since I was born under the zodiac sign of the crab, Cancer. So hiding out under my protective shell is a natural state for me. Even after COVID restrictions were lifted, I avoided going out to public events. 

Then came Dancing Lessons.

Dancing Lessons is a play written by Mark St. Germain for just two actors on stage who must  deliver well timed, witty, exchanges and soulful confessions.

Actors Billy Lake as Ever Montgomery and Danielle Klaudt as Senha Quinn, are perfectly cast in the local Miracle Theatre production. They carry off with seamless style the very demanding dialogue and agile physicality.

The play is well chosen for today’s audiences because through its characters, with their own angst and issues, it speaks to finding personal courage and moving beyond our comfort zone.

It was my theatre ticket for Thursday (March 30) that finally got me out and about again. So thank you Miracle Theatre and its director/set designer Ted Price and producer Anne Laughlin.

Dancing Lessons, for me, was an “art imitating life” experience. Not one for spoilers, I will just say that Quinn is a dancer who must come to terms with her new normal. Montgomery, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, confronts his fears.

On the way to Knox Performance Centre my friend didn’t complain too much that I was late, or had a pile of shoes at my feet. But she got a little huffy when cold wind blasted through my open window as I tried to air dry my wet hair.

The high heeled shoe bandits probably stole my hair dryer to shrink themselves.

However, once comfortably seated inside the beautiful, historic former church with soaring cathedral ceilings and dramatic black wall coverings, I hardly felt the dampness at my neck or the cramping of my toes.

Magically, as the music faded and the stage lights went up, I found myself in a nifty New York apartment with all the amenities — sofa bed, desk, bookcase, window seat, and a well stocked bar.

Dancing Lessons, is a comedy but also a cautionary tale about the need for us to listen and learn, to evolve. Without being preachy or pedantic, the playwright gets in some wise words about saving the planet.

The Miracle Theatre production of Dancing Lessons runs from March 30 to April 19. Or, more than enough time to find some nice dancing  shoes that fit and an outfit that doesn’t need ironing. 

Did I mention they took my iron, too?

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