Your Dance Advisor

If, like me, your terpsichorean training ended after one tap-dancing lesson (“Mom, please don’t make me go back!”), you may need to re-charge your dancing skills in order to realize your full potential. Thankfully, Madama La Vache is available to help you take the “next step” on your way to ballroom, ballet or “hip-hop” prowess.

The Bunny Hop, national dance of Finland


Dear Madame La Vache:

This girl Brittany in my ballet class can extend her first position past 180 degrees–it’s scary! When I asked her how she does it, she told me I need to stretch my “psoas” muscles. Can you give me an example of such an exercise? My mom is no help–she played nose guard on her high school’s six-man football team because they only had five boys in her class.

Tiffany Keister, Grand Prairie Junction, Nebraska


Dearest Tiffany:

I would be most happy to! Start with your left leg folded in front of you. Swing your right leg behind your head, and remove your wristwatch using the first three toes of your right foot. Draw your belly to your spine, engage your abs, close cover before striking. If you get stuck, call the fire department as the people at 9-1-1 are too busy playing pinochle.


The cow who laughs


Dear Madame La Vache:

Doesn’t “la vache” mean “the cow” in French?

Just asking.

Chelsie Bogaard, New Bedford, Mass.


“Eek–a mouse!”



This is, how you say, an “impertinent” question to ask in an on-line advice column that will be read by twenty–perhaps thirty people! Vous etes incroyable! You are perhaps confusing me with La vache qui rit, the soft, spreadable cheese preferred by more French children for their apres-ecole snacks.


“That’s enough stretching, girls.”


Dear Madame La Vache:

I have recently come in for some criticism by Mlle. Yvonne, my ballet teacher, for my plie as well as my port de bras. She has recommended that I take her remedial class. I looked it up in my dance school’s catalog and it is listed as Le pneu crevee, $200 for four sessions! I want to become a famous ballerina someday, but not if I have to blow my whole summer savings from Dog-n-Suds!

Amanda Bifirk, Chillicothe, Ohio


Dear Amanda:

I believe your instructor is a contemptible putain who is bringing disrepute down on the whole ballet-industrial complex. “Le pneu crevee” means “the flat tire”, and I accordingly suspect “Yvonne” received her ballet training at Rocco’s Texaco and Towing. If your plie is in need of fixant, I suggest you try “Madame La Vache’s 20 Days to Better Ballet” three-disc boxed set, available for a limited time for only $49.95. Point, click and “add to shopping cart” after you have finished reading this column.


Learn inner-city dance basics at Hip-Hop Summer Camp!


“Madame La Vache”–

U think u got somethin 2 teach me about hip-hop dance? What is yur street cred? I bet u still watch Denny Terio & the Solid Gold Dancers.

Anthony “Dr. Def” Monson (sent by text message)


Denny Terrio


Dear “Dr.” Def (I say that although I would like to see your degree):

I do not understand the sneering contempt which you seem to hold for Denny Terrio, who brought the beauty of over-the-top disco dancing to America’s television sets. You need to spend less time doing your “break-dancing” outside public restrooms and more time watching “So You Think You Can Dance” in your living room.


Madame La Vache:

I have been bound and determined to break into the upper echelons of ballroom dancing ever since I saw “Strictly Ballroom.” My problem is this: All the boys around here are so clumsy! They step on my toes even during the competitive cha-cha portion of our compulsory program. What can I say to my partners to make them more sensitive to the basics of the art form?

Trudy Crnic, Otterville MO.


Dearest Trudy:

The traditional way to get a boy to focus on his footwork is to stop, point at your feet and make a time-honored sarcastic remark: “I walk on the bottoms, and you walk on the tops.”

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collections “Dance Fever–Catch It!” and “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”

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