Music, dance, sport and personal safety and having a good time figured very strongly in our family. Work was necessary but served the purpose of allowing enough time and money so favourite rituals of life could be developed and followed.
Once I remember thinking that it would be lovely to earn a living doing something you really loved. This became a rule within our family. If you had to settle for a job which was not your desired past time, so be it. If you got lucky and worked at a loved past time then celebrations of life ensured. Many people worked in areas of life which followed their desired past times. This became a rule or ritual within the family.
I was good enough to earn a living as a dancer but decided that I preferred the Secretarial life over being a Channel Nine Dancer. I remember walking into my Aunt’s bedroom one night during a party with the Cousin’s work mates. And there were the dancers, boys and girls, practicing their lifts. My Aunt had hand prints all over the ceiling of her bedroom. But that was not the life for me. Many of the family decided to not become great dancers. But they were employed in allied fields such as producing major events and judging competitions. They can still be found in those fields of dance and music.
One of the major productions was the Half Time Entertainment at the MCG. When they used school kids and others to make lovely patterns and entertain people waiting for the football to start again. That was fun for everyone. Mary the producer had an annual nervous breakdown trying to coordinate all those people and costumes. Other members of the family assisted pushing lots of people into the right places. Jane, another cousin, helped with the production of the Wallaby Rugby Union team. It was her job to get them all into the right places for playing, photos, etc. It seems we are always telling people where to be.
Worth noting: I decided not to be a dancer and, not good enough to be a tennis player, I became a teacher and so still told people where to be. My school concerts were a work of art too. We danced, sang and made music as if it was a production on the stage of the Princess Theatre. Costumes came up the highway courtesy of my cousin’s dancing school in Melbourne. So I escaped the Channel Nine Ballet, but I did not escape the ritual of producing pleasurable events for those persons who came under my jurisdiction.
Interestingly enough I decided my daughter was not to dance. So we went to calisthenics and I found myself at competitions and organising costumes and putting up with bitching parents of other girls. Hang on – I was avoiding this. And strangely enough my cousin who decided not to dance finds herself going to competitions and organising costumes for her youngest daughter. The daughter’s activity: rhythmic gymnastics.
We just can’t escape the ritual of dance, music, sport and production. The ritual of fun times being organised by us for our enjoyment lives on.