“This is one of my 1988 dance recital portraits from The Dancer’s Studio in Dearborn, MI. I wasn’t like the rest of the ballerinas who had been studying dance since birth; I started late so I was put in the “teen beginners” jazz class. I was easily the worst dancer in the school; if you watch the recital video you can see me spinning in the wrong direction and knocking into people. Our teacher, Miss Maryann, picked our costumes and we danced to the song “Hourglass” by Sweet.
I was twelve years old and obviously at that stage where I had no idea what to do with my body. Everything was out of proportion; my glasses were too big, my tights were too big and I could never get my bangs right. I remember a friend at summer camp made me that friendship bracelet and I never took it off so it was really grungy.
The photographer posed us and for me there was really no other option than the jazz hands. I find it kind of amazing that this photo is now one of the top 5 image results when you google “jazz hands.” Like my extreme dorkiness has become a cultural meme. There’s an authenticity to that, dorkiness. There’s no pretense to dorkiness.”
(submitted by Adriana)