Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tinikling! Thank GOD!

Kind of like this.

My family is very fortunate because we live in a community with excellent public schools. In fact, my county sort of has swagger about its schools. It's not even subtle about it. My county is like one of your super annoying, humble-bragging Facebook friends who always manages to casually mention how successful everyone in their family is.

My county is EXACTLY like that. It sees the other counties at Starbucks and it's all: "Oh hey. What's up, neighboring jurisdictions? Congratulations on that #6 ranking! You must feel really good about that. Oh yeah, you saw that? #1 again this year. It's a blessing. OK, enjoy your coffee. Bye-eee!"

But honestly, I make fun of Fairfax County for being all smug, with it's excellent public facilities and well-managed resources, but I choose to live here for pretty much those exact reasons. So imagine my surprise when I had the following conversation with my very sweet and innocent 10 year old daughter last night.

Lina: I'm pooped.
Me: From school, sweetie?
Lina: Yah. From PE.
Me: Oh. What did you do in PE today?  
Lina: Pole dancing.
Me: Say what now?
Lina: Pole dancing.
Me: (looking very alarmed) What exactly do you mean by pole dancing?
Lina: Dancing with poles. (Looks at me like I'm an idiot) 
Me: Pole dancing. In PE. At your school.
Lina: (confused) It's fun. It's not a bad kind of pole dancing, relax. It's Polynesian Pole Dancing.
Me: (making a mental note NOT to google image search the phrase 'Polynesian Pole Dancing') I don't know what that is.
Lina: It's exhausting.
Me: I guess it would be.
Lina: My whole class is getting really good at it, though.
Me: How long have you been doing this?
Lina: Weeks. Since before we got the stomach flu. It's important that we learn it, I guess.
Me: So what exactly do you do with the pole?
Lina: POLES. We use poles. They're like big sticks.
Me: (visibly relieved) So it's stick dancing?
Lina: NO. POLE DANCING. (Then she starts to jump around really fast like she's jumping rope or playing hopscotch and it sounds as if someone has just thrown a bag of potatoes down the stairs)
Me: That's how you pole dance?
Lina: Yes, except people are holding two long poles on the ground and we jump around them.
Me: OK! Here's a Girl Scout cookie, why don't you go watch TV and please don't tell daddy about this just yet.

I immediately went to Facebook and asked my mom friends why my child was learning to pole dance in PE class. I mean, I value excellent and progressive public education but there are limits. The comments (as you might imagine) were amazing. And reassuring, because apparently what they were doing was not Polynesian Pole Dancing but rather "Tinikling", a traditional Fillipino folk dance using bamboo poles. Here's a picture: 

photo from Wikipedia commons.
Thank goodness. Because I was going to have to have to say something to snotty old Fairfax County the next time I saw it at Starbucks but now I don't have to. Whew. 

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  1. This is fantastic. I just love how you are able to control the laughter and fear of what is really going through your head when you asked her. I am dying its so funny!

  2. We did that dance in my Los Angeles school district elementary school 50 years ago...... For the May Festival....

  3. This was hilarious! I am a qtr Filipino but never had the opportunity to learn to "pole dance" :( Boast away, you trully deserve it. I remember some friends coming home with massive bruises on their ankles from practicing the dance. Your daughter must be good if there has been no bruising after weeks of practice. Awesome job!

  4. I have seen this performed at the Lowell Folk Festival here in MA.

  5. I remember doing that too…and let me tell you, it doesn't feel good if you're not a fast enough hopper and those things clamp around your ankles!

  6. Ha ha. Why can't kids describe things right without making mom look like an idiot. My 13 yo is finally realizing he has to add more details for his stupid mom.

    Also, I grew up in Fairfax County. It is so true about them being the annoying FB friend. I don't live there now. But I live in an equally annoying county in Virginia that outshines all nearby localities. It's similar, but on a smaller "smug" scale.

  7. We did that in grade school PE! Like a gazillion years ago. (Which, coincidentally was in NW DC) How funny.

  8. Aww great. Now loudoun (otherwise known as fairfax's red headed step sister) is going to take on pole dancing. Anything you can do we can do better . . .

  9. That was such a funny conversation! Hahahahaha!!!! My heart would drop if I ever hear my daughter say the same thing .. LOL!

    I never heard of "Tinikling" as "Polynesian" Pole Dancing. I thought it was ONLY Filipino for sure, being raised in the Philippines and a Filipino myself; also considering their outfit in the picture is definitely Filipino. I never had the chance to dance it though, jealous of your daughter! Hehe!

  10. We had tinikling in school when I lived in NJ. I loved it. Think of it as very early Dance Dance Revolution!




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