It’s called a step dance. If anyone had taught me how to spin a round as a child, I would have been a dancer. I used to make my way along the dance floor, my feet in front of me, with each step always coming into contact with the floor.
My father, Joseph, was not a dancer, never dancing. He never danced to a tune or any music. He never danced at all. When Joseph moved, it felt like a wave on my feet instead of any sort of physical sensation. That was the first thing that came to my mind when I first noticed it.
“You can’t go to school,” I was told several times when it came to my feet. “Only people like you have feet that can do that.” Sometimes it went on for an hour — I was taught that my feet were supposed to stay at their current position for as long as I wanted to stay there. If I wanted to turn or move my feet farther than I’d been taught, I would have to ask a dance teacher to make me do it.
I felt ashamed because I knew it had to be something that only I could do. This didn’t seem to make sense. Why couldn’t everyone else have feet like mine?
One evening a woman came into my hotel room and told me she hadn’t heard from my parents in a while. She said there was a rumor that I was cheating on my parents — that I had come over to my mother so that my mother could see how I had gotten all my feet.
When I told my mother that I had not been told that my feet had been cheated on, I got into a fight. She asked me if I could give her the phone because she worried about my phone security.
“Mom!” I said. “I can’t tell you. I have to do everything myself because I like to do it myself.”
After that, I thought about my feet a lot. It wasn’t until about eight months later that I decided to start taking off my shoes before going about my daily activity.
At first I didn’t understand how I could do it. I couldn’t even make the motions I liked to use to spin. The problem was that I never got it. I could spin a little bit with my right foot because my left arm was longer and I was naturally stronger. But a minute or two later, though, I would notice that I could spin a little bit with my right foot and
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