Ballet West – Lake Charles Louisiana – Bayou Kicker Bar
While we were on a Ballet West performance tour to Lake Charles, Louisiana, some of the women decided to be bold and go out to a club to dance after one performance.
From talking to some of the local stage crew guys, we discovered that there was a Kicker Bar deep in the bayou that was supposed to be very fun to go to.
For dancers, that are all wound up after a performance, with energy to burn, a group of us decided to go to this “Kicker” bar late after the show.
First of all, being born and raised in the great state of Texas (you have to say that if you are from Texas), I love the southern gentleman style and manner.
I knew that southern men tend to be polite and hospitable (back in my day). So, I knew that we would be safe, especially if we were in a group.
So off we go to the spooky bayou … at night.
We took a couple of cabs and crowded into them to get to our destination.
Driving through the fog that hangs low in the air close to the water in the bayou is magical and seems something from an ancient echo and memory in my soul.
I love the sounds of the bayou; it calls to something primal inside that too is wild and untamed.
I am a firefly junky. I used to capture them in mayonnaise jars and separate the colors into different jars. It was very fun.
In the bayou, the fireflies were out and between the mist and the flashing lights of the fireflies in rhythm to the sounds of the night, it gave the effect of a land pulsating to its own heartbeat.
We get to this bar and let’s just say that it has a bit of that feel of the bar called, the Bird House, outside Portage Glacier. This bar looked as ancient as the trees that flanked it on all sides. It was a part of the landscape and at one with the flows of the bayou. It looked like it has been standing as long as the Bald Cypress and Tupelo Trees. With the moss hanging off of the limbs of the trees and the roof of the Bar, it hinted to those ancient times where life was filled with the magic of voodoo, unsettled ghosts, and tales of great escapes by the slaves into the watery abyss of Louisiana.
We get out of the cabs and walk to the door hearing lots of music coming from inside.
We open to the door and here is this cute bar, with neon lights and pool tables off to the side. The bar is directly in front of us with a large dance floor, and there are men lined up talking and drinking.
They all turn to see what is coming through the door. Instantly, we notice the shocked faces from the men because they think the bayou just granted them their wishes. And those wishes desired to see stunning women coming in the door. We seemed to fit the bill. Here was this group of gorgeous ballet dancers standing there looking somewhat lost and confused.
Instantly, those men are on their feet, and it feels like a stampede of bulls rushing towards us.
I am sure we were a sight for sore eyes and these boys were overjoyed to have drop-dead beautiful ballerinas come in. Testosterone exploded and those men were in a rush to get to us as fast as possible.
It was such a rush that I stood in front with my arms out and said with a serious tone but a wry smile, “Stop! We promise to dance with each man in turn, but we don’t know how to kicker dance, and we need to be taught. But we are quick learners!”
Instantly the men went into their best behavior. And they agreed to teach us how to kicker dance.
This is where I just adore the southern gentlemen. They were on their best behavior, and they knew how to have fun. We were all willing partners and took turns being spun around from one man to another. It was great fun. We were all laughing, giggling, cracking jokes, and buying plenty of drinks. Not too many dancers like to get drunk so often it was water and cokes, but we had a blast regardless.
We were all invited back (of course) but we knew that we were not going to be coming back because this was our last show before we were leaving town again.
I remember, the bus leaving the area, and seeing the Tabasco plant and all the pepper plants basking in the sunlight as we headed to the airport. I felt that sticky humidity that I was so familiar with from my childhood and knew that for a moment, I was in my home territory. I wanted to take it all in and remember, the joyful moments on the lake with our ski boat, lounging in the cool water at the height of the summer’s heat on Lake Texoma. Grateful to add another memory to my mind that was an explosion of playful, youthful, engagements with others in a gentle spirited and respectful manner.