Lost in translation or just don’t want to know

I recently have had the privilege of going to a few end-of-the year dance recitals in Rome. I teach English and some of my students are children.  The contrast between American kids and Italian kids is very visible and interesting. Kids in the states are made independent , people say “stop babying him” even though the kid is three years old. Here, children stay children for a very long time, in many cases into adulthood. Overall, Italian children are truly dependent on their teacher. In fact, Italian children will have the same teacher for the first five years of school, if they don’t move or change school.  The teacher becomes family, the second mother not only to the kids but to the adults. Everyone is dependent. Another contrast, parents invite the teacher out for drinks and Facebook it and the teacher still has her job the next day!! I am talking to you USA; the land that  doesn’t believe teachers are people too.

So, I have been to a few recitals and they are sweet and adorable as they always are. A friend that is an adult; has been taking dance lessons. He has been practicing for a few years now. In true Italian fashion he invited me a couple of hours before it started to the spettacolo.   I do like the word spettacolo, it means show but  it makes me think of some death-defying feat that I would see at the circus. I love this word!

As well, I really wanted to go home.  It was über hot day for June and I had been out all morning doing a photo shoot for a friend that is leaving Rome for good after three years here. I was spent but decided to support his show. So I went home,changed and again went out into the heat waiting on the bus , on a Saturday, which is so annoying, I have a better chance winning the lottery than one of the three buses by my house arriving on the weekend. I have a great dislike for the buses on the weekend. They are suppose to run…… key word SUPPOSE to yet somehow they become ghost on the weekends.

The show was at Teatro Brancaccio on via Merulana. This area is really trendy and nice. It has some great bars and is really close to Vittorio Emmanule metro stop and somewhat close to Termini (main metro /train stop in Rome). The teatro is really nice and beautiful.  You can get chips, soda, popcorn and espresso  at the concession stand. There are a lot of stage performances here, Louis Armstrong and the Beatles have played in this fairly intimate theater.

The show was misleading with time. It stared at 4 pm and finished at 8:30 and claimed to be two hours and a half.  The dance studio where my friend practices puts on a show displaying all ages. Beginning with the children’s performances  that took two and a half hours plus an intermission.  I want to say that children are very cute when they are learning choreographic dance moves. They are always looking to the right side curtain where there dance teacher is telling them the dance moves. Second , I was a bit lost on watching young girls from 5 to 16 perform at least 15 dance numbers doing the same two-step continuously. I saw people walk out.  I began to wonder how much the parents pay for their child to be at this dance school.

To make this show more eyebrow raising-picture it: pre-teen girls in the typical unitard bodysuit dancing the two-step to Don’t cry for me Argentina performed by Madonna, Miracles by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey and wait for it Talk Dirty to Me with Jason Derulo and 2Chainz explicit version. They played 2Chainz part  three times!! If you don’t know it, which I didn’t, you will now:

Dos Cadenas, close to genius
Sold out arenas, you can suck my penis
Gilbert Arenas, guns on deck
Chest to chest, tongue on neck
International oral sex
Every picture I take, I pose a threat
Bought a jet, what do you expect?
Her pussy’s so good I bought her a pet
Anyway, every day I’m trying to get to it
Got her saved in my phone under “Big Booty”
Anyway, every day I’m trying to get to it
Got her saved in my phone under “Big Booty”

Yep! this happened.

I was falling asleep when  I heard “you can suck my penis”. I thought I was having a weird delusion but nope this was happening. To make in even more inappropriate. The instructor, who is a really beautiful, petite, blond lady with a six-pack abs; came on stage did a belly dance routine with a mature appeal while the girls tied the belly dancing hip wrap on and then proceeded to have the girls do a sexy dance , booty shake , sexy spin , with the pointed toe body dip. Not once but several times and then they turned their backs to the audience and did a booty dance , with a stripper pop-lock-drop. I was looking around to see if I was the only one seeing this.  I saw some people looking lost and uncertain on how they should responded and other on their phone checking Facebook.

When they finally finished this number a few people applauded. I want to believe they had no idea what the lyrics were to this song that their little angels just stripper danced to it. I want to believe the dance instructor thought the rhythm was great and bypass knowing what the song was saying. I want to believe I was the only one who saw and heard it. Yet, during intermission I heard a few  people at the concession stand questioning  what they just saw.

After this big  number the rest of the children’s show was quite mellow , they did another inappropriate dance for I’m a Good Girl from Burlesque, otherwise they stuck to normal kid stuff with a two-step. It was something I never expected.  Compared to the other kids shows I have seen in Rome and in the States, I expected cute and adorable without awkward dance numbers.

I was extremely happy the kids portion was over. I don’t think I could have stayed for another Burlesque-kid performance. Finally the adult show happened. When my friend finally performanced; I was on my second macchiato to stay awake in four hours. They did the tango, a lot. It was nice.  I realized I dislike choreographic dance. I will stick to nonsense dance moves. I have no patience to learn. My friend has been driving everyone crazy about his dance practice. He has been going twice a week for countless months.  I am not sure what he did but we watched, we cheered and we congratulated after the show.

On that note, I end with Paula