Mad. Hot. Something that resembles dancing.

I’ve told you before, I can’t dance.

When I was a preteen and about to begin attending teen dances where dancing would be happening, my two older sisters Ta-Ta and Tina Fey taught me a very basic dance. Step side to side and clap your hands to the beat.

Step/clap, step/clap. Now get ambitious and bop your head.

Prior to that, we five girls choreographed some killer dances on the front porch, set to Madonna’s “Borderline” and Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.”

I still remember a few moves. Step/kneel/rise/spin/jazz hands!

As a teenager, the most ambitious I ever came was this thing where I put my knees together and kind of swished and clapped and maybe bopped my shoulders. Fly Girl, I was not. I was Super DorkGirl! Should be a wallflower, but REFUSES.

Once I went to college, I retired Super DorkGirl! and I didn’t dance other than slow dances. I can slow dance, sure. Put my arms up here and just sway. Cake. I could dance the crap out of slow dances.

As an adult, it’s a travesty I’m married to a Mexican who has moves for days. Often while in Mexico, if we were at a party, my husband would grab me, drag me to the dance floor where dozens of amazing dancers aged 4 to 94 were effortlessly shaking their groove things, and would attempt to salsa dance with me. He was all pow-pow-spin-shimmy-hip-hip-hip and I was all [blink].

It was oddly reminiscent of an unmade Weekend at Bernie’s sequel. Weekend at Ginny’s: Dead Women Don’t Dance.

Now, I only dance in front of my children and even then I often get an eyeroll from my older child and a “YOU GOTTA STOP IT” from my younger child.

So it’s quite ironic that I’ve been asked to guest-judge the upcoming Mad Hot Ballroom competition on June 12 with fellow judges Tall Cathy and Ian Rosenberger, who like to stand next to me and make me look positively lilliputian next to their Brobdingnagian frames.

Where is my Nutella-smothered cookie for working lilliputian and Brobdingnagian into one sentence?

The details are here, but basically I’ll be judging six teams from companies like Lamar and UPMC who have been undergoing intense ballroom dance training over the last few months.

It’s supposed to be a great event, for charity!, and it includes the show, a dinner buffet, auction, and special performances by students from Pittsburgh Linden K-5, recently crowned champions of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh 2010-2011 “Colors of the Rainbow.”

Say hello to me if you go! I’ll be the curly-haired chick behind the judges’ table all, “That was quite a triple axle you landed there. And I can’t say enough about the … um … shimmy, and the … um … spirit fingers? 10!”



  1. christh0mas
    June 2, 2011 3:09 pm

    It’s funny you mention Weekend at Bernie’s. Every time I hear about that movie I think of this video which always cracks me up.

    Being someone that’s also lacking in the dance skills department, I love doing the Bernie cuz it’s so simple.

  2. Julie
    June 2, 2011 4:15 pm

    Virginia…have you ever thought about attending classes to learn? My husband and I have been attending ballroom dancing classes now for a year and a half through the YMCA in Cranberry. There are lots of places around Pittsburgh to learn. (I wouldn’t recommend Arthur Murray. My instructer is a former teacher and he said they really just want you to keep buying classes) We have a blast and have made lots of new friends. Try it. It makes a GREAT date night!!!

  3. Butcher's Dog
    June 2, 2011 4:42 pm

    You may not dance well, but you know hot. Baby, do you ever know hot! Just sayin’.

    And now, to go all English teacher and ruin what’s left of the lovely afternoon, I think Lilliputian should be capitalized as well. So you get the Nutella but not the cookie. I know; I’m a tough grader.

  4. Bram R
    June 2, 2011 5:07 pm

    “…basically I’ll be judging six teams from companies like Lamar and UPMC…”

    Wow. I can’t decide whether to root for Halliburton, LexCorp or the Trade Federation.

  5. Bram R
    June 2, 2011 5:09 pm

    Veidt Industries. That’s the one I should have went with.

  6. empirechick
    June 2, 2011 5:17 pm

    BramR @ #4 = +1

    June 2, 2011 7:39 pm

    You should have gone to the Grove on rt. 88 in castle shannon. You could have learned all kinda moves.

  8. Burgh Bird
    June 2, 2011 7:58 pm

    christh0mas- Thank you. That video cracked me up. However, I like the Teletubbies version better.

    Ginny- you are missing the perfect opportunity to get Hines to tutor you….

  9. SpudMom
    June 2, 2011 8:08 pm

    Bram R FTW. Well played, sir.

  10. Emily
    June 3, 2011 8:26 am

    I just love that you used the word “Brobdingnagian!” YAY Sheldon!!

  11. Mark Rogalsky
    June 3, 2011 9:54 am

    It will be a mad hot evening! we are thrilled you are going to be one of our judges-and the other teams competing are Pittsburgh Public Schools, Riverset Credit Union, McAuley Ministries, and Tobacco Free Allegheny. Pierre DUlaine the founder of Dancing Classrooms will be in town to be our emcee-and he will make sure that by the end of teh night, you will know how to shake what your mama gave you , and be able to Merengue!

  12. Patrick
    June 3, 2011 1:57 pm

    As one of the dancers you will be judging…let me know what I can do to guarantee a victory for team Riverset.

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