The Ballet Came to Town Last Monday

I’m sorry you missed it. But don’t feel bad. The only people there anyway were the dancers. And they didn’t even know they were dancers. They were just doing their jobs. But a ballet it was, nevertheless.

The backdrop was a simple but beautiful room with inspirational wall hangings. The set was spare and functional.

The choreographer, all 5’2” of her, called us to attention and told us, in no uncertain terms, what the plan was, how the performance would start and …..if we knew what was good for us… it would end.

Then the props were delivered and we gasped at the enormity of what was being asked of us.

We’re a small troupe, normally sure of our steps and marks, but this was different. We were definitely out of our comfort zone. We even brought in an extra in case of a misstep or two…which seemed likely, given the task at hand.

But suddenly, and with little warning, we were on.  Lights, action and places, please!

Now, I’m sure that you’re nearly breathless with suspense. So, here’s the big reveal.

All of this took place on a Monday morning, two weeks ago, at the church-sponsored food bank.

The props were bags and bags and bags and bags and bags of canned goods, generously donated by parents and children of the church-affiliated school. An estimated 1500 (!) cans arrived, all at once. They were clearly in need of un-packing, sorting, boxing and shelving, in preparation for distribution to needy families. And there were only 10 of us to get the job done.

The dance got off to a rough start but within minutes everyone had picked up the pace and settled into their positions, their roles. We found our stride, quickly and quietly.

We moved like pros, pirouetting between the tables of canned soups, vegetables and fruits. We jete-ed and plié-ed our way across the floor. The occasional, if unplanned, arabesque was spotted.

Unbelievably, nothing was broken. No one got stepped on.   Oh sure, a couple of chicken noodles got mixed up with the cream of mushrooms but that didn’t diminish the performance.

When the work was done, the set was struck, high-fives were given and a feeling of accomplishment was shared by all.

We weren’t Balanchine or Baryshnikov but we were good. Really good.

It was all over in 45 minutes…exactly two minutes before the regular food truck delivery arrived and we were able to return to our regular and comfortable routines.

We didn’t need applause from an audience. The reward was simply in and of itself.


P.S. I don’t know if you missed me last week, but I missed you so I’m going to try for a weekly post. It’s more fun for me that way. And fun is what this is all about.



Thanks to for the image