Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Friday, January 15, 2010


"I've seen better."

St.Petersburg, FL
– Some nine-to-fivers feasted their eyes on more than just their lunch last Tuesday at the St. Petersburg Mall. Teens Doing Something!, a youth group oriented toward at-risk teens, spent months rehearsing an elaborate dance number to be performed at the mall to spread the word about friendship, kindness and “doing something”. While most of the lunch crowd got into the spirit by cheering and clapping along to a medley of recognizable pop hits, one who wasn’t too happy about having his lunch interrupted was 54 year-old structural engineer Robert Tsongas. “I look forward to my lunch. I stopped eating lunch in the office because it got too noisy. I come here, I get my Panda Express and try to clear my head before going back in, but this was just uncalled for. I don’t need to see a dancing show when I’m trying to eat. Nobody needs that.”

“That man is exactly who we’re trying to reach.” said 17 year-old Stacey Wilcox, co-choreographer with Bryan Laddish, 18, who added: “Our message is simple; ‘Pay It Forward’. We want to make people smile so much, so that they might want to do the same for someone else. Maybe they won’t create an awesome dance routine, but maybe they’ll think of our dance and help their neighbor take the garbage out or something.” Added Stacey: “Look, we’re not the best dancers and we’re not rich in money, but we’re rich in our hearts. This is what Teens Doing Something! Is all about. We know that you can’t please everyone. It’s just fun. We have fun doing this!”

Tsongas now insists that it wasn’t so much about the interruption of his meal. “I just didn’t think it was that great”, he said noting that his 2 year-old niece is a better dancer, “even when she’s got a bucket on her head and just kind of shakes her arms.”

Mr. Tsongas agreed to watch a tape of the dance with local dance instructor Marie Woods of JazzyKidz Studio. The tape shows typical food court activity and then the music starts. Two teens get up and start dancing to a medley of songs from Grease, The Black Eyed Peas, Elvis Presley’s 'Jailhouse Rock' and The B-52’s 'Love Shack', as they are joined by more dancers. By the time The Bangles’ 'Walk Like and Egyptian' is in full swing, the whole group is bobbing their heads with their arms bent like King Tut, moving in unison for an enthusiastic crowd. “That move is textbook for that song”, Woods informs, “I would have tried to do it differently, but they’re kids. And it looks like they’re having fun.” Added Tsongas: “I don’t know. It’s still not that good. I’ve seen better.”


At 3:14 PM, Blogger johnO said...

Teens Doing Something! is fantastic. I would give them one of these:

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Livia Scott said...

“That man is exactly who we’re trying to reach.” Hahahaaha!!! This is great; the tone and jokes are very The Onion. Well done, Jordi!

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Beth said...

“even when she’s got a bucket on her head and just kind of shakes her arms.”


You guys are great.


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