June 24, 2009

In honor of Judd's pants

Cottonwood Heights Elementary---late 70's---Salt Lake City, Utah---Fifth grade---Judd Adams. I know we all have those geeky awkward stages of our lives that we'd like to forget but show up through family scrapbooks or now, Facebook posts. I don't need a photo however to recall Judd Adams' pants. They were made out of that dark navy, fake blue jean stretch fabric that was such a rage in those days. Judd's particular pants had extra wide bell-bottoms with red, white and blue flag fabric inserted into the flair on the side. By themselves the pants would have been quite a sight, but on Judd who was very tall, and gangly at that age they seemed to only accentuate his long, angular lines. Now whether or not Judd loved these pants or just didn't have many wardrobe options we may never know but I do remember he wore them quite often.

Now, when I started belly dancing we didn't wear pants, unless they were the harem style. However, with the influence of tribal, fusion and goth styles and the popularity of Melodia-style pants, belly dancers everywhere traded in their requisite chiffon circle skirt for flared or bell bottom pants. Initially I resisted, especially because of my memories of Judd's pants and the fear of looking ridiculous at my age. But I did give in and became very fond of the way these pants flatter and fit all shapes and sizes. Now, my dance wardrobe is not complete without them.

Some of my all-time favorite flare leg pants come from Brandy Bollin with Tribal Evolution in Dallas. I wear them when teaching, and for some of my fusion performances. I was saddened to hear at the Austin Belly Dance Convention that she was taking a break from making the pants. (Okay, I was sad until I found out they were all on sale for $20 each, woo hoo!!!) So, despite my plans for other purchases that weekend I spent a large majority of the weekend in the bathroom trying on every conceivable pair of pants that may fit me and walked away with a nice new stash.

There was one pair I just could not add to the pile. They were dark, heavy, navy-blue stretch fabric and the only difference between these pants and Judd's was the lack of a flag fabric insert. I tried them on several times, but kept putting them in the reject pile. All I could see looking in the mirror was that tall, awkward kid from my past wearing those goofy pants. On the last day, at the last minute, I gave in. In a spontaneous gesture I picked them up, and purchased them simply because I couldn't let such a good deal pass me by.

I'm happy to say I now love my pants, and they may become my staple while teaching classes. I'd also like to think that somewhere right now Judd is telling his kids or friends about these super-cool pants he had in elementary school but still misses to this day. So Judd, wherever you are...I'm keeping the memory alive...but in a much more attractive form!

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