Sunday, July 22, 2012

Letting Loose to Hot Lunch Jam

I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to see Fame (1980). It's on Ovation right now. I heard the tsk tsk tsk beginnings of the riotous "Hot Lunch Jam" and had a straight personal party in front of my TV - dancing like tomorrow wasn't coming.

Nobody ever tells you that at some point in your life - unless you're one of those octogenarian athletes - you won't be able to move like you did in your youth. But I certainly tried. I may have to pop an Advil or two. But it was worth it.

If this song doesn't make you get up and move something, honestly, I think something is very wrong with you.

The whole Academy Award-winning soundtrack was fantastic and front and in heavy rotation when I was a kid, sandwiched between Whitney Houston's first album and Donna Summer's On The Radio on the shelf under my record player. The breakdown in "Never Alone," spoke to my church choir singing. Our entire seventh grade sang "Out Here On My Own" at our promotion ceremony - a bit somber, but memorable.

The film left an indelible imprint on my life. I'd been taking dance for at least five years before I saw it. From age 4 until my early teens, I took ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and more. I traveled with dance companies all the way to New York's Alvin Ailey studios. I even had a stint as a mime while selling ice cream at a Carvel cart during one summer at Six Flags. Imagine me. As a mime. Thank goodness there was no Facebook or YouTube back then.

More thanks to God and my parents that my childhood was filled with creative exposure - dancing, singing in the school chorus, and my mother continuously taking me to see movies like Fame, productions like the one woman show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, and musicals like The Wiz with Stephanie Mills and Your Arms Too Short to Box With God with Jennifer Holliday.

Fame is a classic. Even at 10 years old, I knew I was destined to live in New York City after being captivated by the scene where the performing arts school recesses to the streets and hundreds of dancers literally stop traffic devouring taxicabs with grand jetes and pirouettes to the movie's title track. And the celebratory ending "I Sing the Body Electric" was just euphoria.

The whole Fame movement was glorious. Every time I see the film or hear a song from the soundtrack, I fall in love with creativity again. Stay connected to the things that inspire you. They help in Enjoyceinglife!

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