Elton John Christmas Commercial: My Thoughts on Pianos, Dance Shoes & Finding Your Song by Rick St. Peter
"And you can tell everybody this is your song..."
A month ago, I had never heard of LaDuca dance shoes. My daughter, Olivia, a sophomore majoring in musical theater at Syracuse University, mentioned to me she really wanted a pair. She told me all the reasons she needed them for her dance classes. The support they would give her ankles, the confidence they would give her as she pursues her dream of one day being on Broadway, the fact that all her classmates had them and this was required footwear for “the Industry.” She had a host of reasons!
So over Thanksgiving during a trip to see family in New Jersey, we had an increasingly rare daddy/daughter day in Manhattan. My son, Aidan, stayed with our cousins while Olivia and I took the train into the city. We made our way from uptown to downtown. We went to Levain Bakery on W. 74th, we went to the Drama Book Shop and we saw a show at Classic Stage Company. But the highlight for her – and me if I am being honest – was visiting the LaDuca Dance Shoes store on W. 47th. In the store she was fussed over by Andrew, a dancer who not only gave her amazing service but also delivered a much-needed pep talk to her about life in the business and what she can expect when she leaves the cocoon of Syracuse. She also got a pair of 2.5-inch Elizabeth dance shoes at LaDuca from her daddy as an early Christmas present
LaDucas flashed through my mind’s eye as I watched the 2018 John Lewis Christmas advertisement featuring Elton John sitting at a piano and flashing back in reverse chronological order to the beginning of his journey. Young Reginald Dwight receiving his first piano as a Christmas gift from his mum serves as the beginning of his song. A song that is still playing all these years later.
It is a beautiful advert – fun and wistful, playful and mournful, celebrating youth while realizing there are fewer days ahead than behind. In other words, it is the perfect advertisement for this time of year. Winter, the solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah all provide opportunities for reflection. Who we are. Where we’ve been. Where we are going. Quiet. Stillness. Contemplation. Memories.
But that piano. That piano helped Reginald Dwight find his song. Will the LaDucas help my daughter find her song? I hope so. Her journey is just beginning. Years from now – when I am long gone – will she find those shoes in the back of her closet and think back to the day she got them? And days subsequent to that? Her successes? Her failures? Her father? I hope so. I hope Olivia won’t mind that I put down in words how wonderful that life is with her in my world.
I love her and I want her to find her song.
I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. And I hope you find your song as well.
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