When Grandma Danced the Tarantella….

After the girls had hurriedly exchanged their ballet shoes for tap shoes and raced back to the dance studio in a burst of noise and laughter, Miss M’s ballet teacher flopped down in the chair next to me, laughing at the energy of our three young dancers. Anxious to get details about their Spring show, we grilled her for details about their theme and costume, as we couldn’t quite place the music we heard playing in the studio. “The girls are dancing to the Tarantella”, she offered.


“The tarantella?” one of the moms asked, puzzled. (The show’s theme is “College Life” and this seemed to be a bit of a stretch.)

She continued: “They are dancing in a section called ‘Exchange Students’…or something like that. Β It’s an Italian dance.” She paused, then looked at me with a grin. “Maddie said she knew what it was.”

That caught my attention.


I could only blink, as I was pretty darn certain that MY mother had never danced the tarantella, but who knew what kind of lessons she took as a kid. I made a mental note to ask her, as the teacher continued.

“They will have flowered rings to dance with. It will be really sweet.”

Something in the back of my mind stirred. Something about a flowered ring….

And then it hit me.

It wasn’t her grandmother dancing the tarantella that she remembered.

It was the Big Bad Pig. From “The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig” by Eugene Trivizas.

He sniffed deeper and deeper until he was quite filled with the fragrant scent. His heart grew tender, and he realized how horrible he had been. Right then he decided to become a big good pig. He started to sing and to dance the tarantella.

I started laughing.

I mean, really, you have to commend her for making the connection to a picture book that she loved when she was THREE. It is a GREAT book, one of our favorites.



Naughty-turned-nice dancing pig from a picture book.

I’m not really seeing any connection there at all. They didn’t even go to Grandma’s house in the story.

Sorry, Mimi.


  1. Shannon Bradley Colleary says

    You had me at Tarantella!

  2. Janet Suarez Ameday says

    I can imagine Mimi dancing the tarantella. Thanks for the image or should I say imagination.

  3. This completely cracked me up. πŸ˜‰ and mine DID dance the tarantella. In fact, we all danced it years ago at my wedding.

  4. Bwahahaha! Oh this was priceless! I can see it all!

  5. I was going to totally say WE have danced it at many an event (my family meaning my parents, me, my brother – growing up) so I could see this. There has to be some Little Red Riding Hood/Three Little Pigs/Bad Pig/Grandma connection there. From the minds of babes. πŸ˜‰

    • mommy_grrl says

      For as Italian as my family is, I don’t think we’ve danced the tarantella, but I’d love to see it – how festive! (They all do sing “Dominic the Donkey at Christmastime, which isn’t quite traditional but ya can’t criticize Lou Monte in our house.) I think in part it is due to my girl’s amazingly active imagination!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: