Reframing The Mundane: Every Day I’m Shufflin”

Something that many people–probably fortunately–don’t know about me is that I’m a very musical person. I hum or sing to myself constantly. I sing in the car. I hum in the shower. I “la la la” as I maneuver my car into a parking space. I sing ridiculous songs to my dog.

And I dance.

I love to dance. Seriously.

I’m not just talking about the Chicken Dance, either.

Chicken dancing with Dawn, July 2005

Though I am the first person on the dance floor at any reception when I hear the first notes of the Chicken Dance or any of the following:

~ The Electric Slide
~ The Cha Cha Slide
~ Hava Nagila
~ The Cupid Shuffle
~ The Macarena

I don’t need a crowd and a special occasion to move to the beat. Much like humming and singing to myself, I will dance just about anywhere. Catchy tune in the grocery store? I’m moving. One of my favorite songs comes on the radio while I’m driving? I’m moving. Of course, those two examples don’t involve too much movement: I mainly shimmy under my coat while in public, and head bobbing is typical for drive-dancing. At home where I’m doing household tasks–especially in the kitchen–is when I can give the full commitment and move my…well, pretty much everything.

Though the perfect Moonwalk still eludes me after all these years, it’s not for lack of trying. I might celebrate putting a casserole in the oven with a full-on Charleston, and sometimes I transport food items back to the refrigerator with a Grand jeté. Jazz hands make any mundane task fun, and of course there’s the shufflin’. EVERY DAY I’m shufflin’. (There is video evidence, in fact, of my “abilities”. My sister recorded me one day when I clearly had ants in my pants. It’s not pretty, but it’s on Youtube.)

Dancing, to me, is so joyful. If you know me and how much I have going on at any given moment, you can surely understand how much I enjoy the release: I need it, actually. Moving my body around, even if my teenaged sons are standing in the dining room shaking their heads and telling me what a total goofball I am (and, I might add, refusing to join in), is FUN. What better way to get through the stuff of day-to-day living than to inject a little fun?

Are you with me? Good. Now MOVE!

*cue peppy music of your choice*


I am BEYOND thrilled–doing the Happy Dance, actually–to be partnering with Hallmark on their “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign for 2012. I am being compensated to write about every day moments of all sizes, family traditions, the relationships I cherish the most, and much more. All words, opinions, and photos are mine. Thanks so much to the folks at Hallmark for selecting me for this campaign: it’s an honor for me to be a part of it.


    • Melisa

      Oh believe me, I’m embarrassing my kids with it. The good news is, it’s likely that one of them inherited my chronic dance problem so it’s only a matter of time…

  • Liz

    Raising 3 teens (and 1 who pretends to be one, since the age of 6) I can’t imagine a day without music in our lives. We could totally jam together. Oh wait, we have. Must do it again, very, very soon 😉

    • Melisa

      I try hard, Kristen! 🙂
      Being the Control Freak/Type A kind of person, sometimes I’m frowning when I should be smiling. Dancing helps!

  • Tara R.

    When The Mister and I were dating, we went dancing all the time… think early 80s disco. Now, I am too self conscious to move my groove thang in public. I do dance around the house sometimes when I’m by myself and doing housework. It scares the cats and dog.

    • Melisa

      With Zumba I have found that with practice, it totally gets easier to shake your booty in front of others…

  • megryansmom

    I dance with the kids all the time. For all I know some stalker has driven by and taped it to put on Youtube

  • Mommy to the Max

    My hubby and I also love to dance around the house, and now we cannot get enough of the new dancing games for the Wii.

    My kids beg to challenge us on Just Dance 2 or the Michael Jackson Experience (mainly because they actually can beat us).

    Dancing is just one way my family stays connected and maximizes our time together.

    • Melisa

      That’s great! I bought Dance Dance Revolution years ago when the kids were younger for our Playstation, figuring I’d use it as a workout. I couldn’t get into the habit. So glad I found Zumba classes! 🙂

  • Fran

    I LOVE to dance to! I embarrass my kids because I can dance and they haven’t figured it out yet. And of course I married a man who does NOT move like Jagger, but I love to be on the dance floor with him!

    • Melisa

      Yeah, mine doesn’t move much like Jagger either. Still love him. 🙂
      Good thing you and I have no problem getting out there anyway!

    • Melisa

      Don’t forget to tell me about the idea you have that involves a jig and Brandie!

      Oh wait. You posted about it in the meantime. NEVER MIND…

  • Flawless Mom

    I love to dance, too! I wish I could get my husband on an actual dance floor more often, because he’s AMAZING! Seriously. He’s a giant but he moves like a feather. (Does that make sense?) I, too cannot resist dancing in the car. I feel stupid sometimes but I keep going. Dance your heart out Melisa!!!!