Alvin Ailey Dancer, stoneware sculpture by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Dancing has always been a part of my life, from childhood when a fond grandma hoped my tap shoes would lead to fame and family fortune. It’s obvious that never happened, but I kept dancing anyway.

I heard of a Modern Dance class starting in the City when my children were small and I needed exercise. Any new mother can interpret that to mean, “Shape up!” The instructor floated into the room and I felt myself sinking into my body and thinking there was no hope for me. A gorgeous African-American, she was about 5’10” with extremely short hair and a body to make an artist dream of painting her. I knew immediately that if I were to come back some day as African-American, I would look like her plus with large earrings. She put us through all sorts of strenuous stretches and odd positions until my bones felt they could never have been meant to go there. But I kept dancing anyway.

Last week we went to a friend’s 90th birthday party. About twenty years ago we joined a dance group in town which performed at schools, old age homes and any place anyone would have us. Once while practicing, we asked my Dad for his opinion, his answer “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” In our initial public performance, our husbands embarrassed us by clapping and cheering loudly in the audience. But we kept dancing anyway.

betty ricker
We are second and third from the right in the chorus line. I don’t know if the others are still dancing.

I was impressed by her ability to “get things done” while her husband was on a business trip. They had discussed and he had disregarded the case for new carpeting, but once when he returned after a week away, he had to agree that the new carpet looked much better than the old.

I met this lady about 55 years ago when I interrupted her gardening by inquiring if she were the mother of a little girl with the same name as one of mine. We then discovered that our husbands had gone all through school together. In was enough to ensure a long friendship. And we’re still dancing in our own way.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

10 thoughts on “JUST DIRECT YOUR FEET”

  1. Great sculpture and story. I never was any good as a chorus dancer and was told by my dear H, ‘look up and smile a bit’. It was ‘the bit’ that got me thinking how being too self conscious did not make for good dancing.’Letting go’ is the firts requirement. for dancing or any form of art.
    I did learn the fox-trot and am capable of doing a reasonable cha-cha. Care for a quick step Kayti?.


  2. Looks like the sunny side of the street to me! Look at the smile on the sculpture, and on your chorus line.

    Long ago, there was a video made for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The track was Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” They had to take it down because of copyright, but the song stands beautifully on its own. I think I remember reading that those are her children in the video.


    1. How fun to hear that again. The first time I heard it was at a gandson’s graduation and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I painted one of my daughters before she had ankle replacement and used it as a title. You are so great at putting music on. My brains got lost in the shuffle. I have no idea how to do that. Thanks Linda.


  3. I think the easiest way for you to see how to do it is through my comment. If you click “edit comment”, it will open it up, and you can see the code I used to insert the video. There will be a pair of brackets […..] with youtube=http:// inside, and then the URL of the specific video. You can get the URL off the youtube page. There’s a button that says “share”. Click that, and a little window will open up with the code. Just copy and paste it into your blog.

    That works for either a blog entry or a comment. Any questions, just let me know!


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