Memoir Excerpt

In what seems like a lifetime ago, I used to take ballroom dance lessons. This “phase” lasted for close to seven years. While my dance journey began gracias a mi padre“You really need to know how to Salsa if you speak Spanish!”–my takeaways were much more than just proficiency in rhythm and smooth dances. What I remember most, perhaps more than gliding around the floor in a Viennese Waltz or sweating profusely from an impossibly long eight-minute “Proud Mary” Jive, was the poise and class of it all. I appreciate and admire everything classy, from the wisdom of our elders and ages gone by, to black and white Audrey Hepburn/George Peppard films and Jane Austen novels. As much time as I have dedicated to this site, I also long for those pre-Internet days where life had a much slower and enjoyable pace.

Dance life also taught me that I do not love being in front of a camera. I love the behind-the-scenes, coordinating and directing of theatrical events; I love playing with words and songs to write scripts and create different moods onstage; and I love the idea of oral cultures, where nothing is written or documented (despite being a strongly visual learner). It just seems so authentic and self-reliant, this sitting around a campfire and knowing that only the stories and history you remember will continue on to the next generation. YouTube and I would like to be friends, but we just can’t. I am not the focal point: ideas are.

That said, in an attempt to merge old and new, past and present, historical and futuristic, I have recorded below most of the songs and rhymes we have done this year in the JK Spanish class. If you enjoy this audio format, please let me know in the comments below, as I am considering beginning a podcast series of anything and everything Language and Culture. Note that the name “Freddy” is a tip of the hat to Fred Astaire.


  1. Yo me llamo Freddy, Freddy, Freddy, yo me llamo Freddy y ¿quién eres tú? Who are you?
  2. Buenos días, buenos días, cómo estás, cómo estás, muy bien, gracias, muy bien, gracias, adiós, adiós
  3. Te amo, me amas, somos una gran familia con abrazos y besos para ti, di que me amas a mí
  4. Arriba, abajo, de lado a lado, helado
  5. Sí me gusta, no me gusta, para nada/yes I like it, no I don’t, not at all
  6. Tengo hambre, tengo hambre, tengo hambre, Freddy, una pizza, una pizza, una pizza, por favor
  7. La araña pequeñita subió, subió, subió, vino la lluvia y se la llevó, salió el sol y todo lo secó, y la araña pequeñita subió, subió, subió
  8. Abracadabra, pata de cabra, ¡chiquitipuf!
  9. Tesoro-tesoro-tesoro-TREASURE!
  10. Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad
  11. Mi hombre de nieve es feliz y está muy gordo, con la boca, la nariz, dos ojos y en la cabeza un sombrero
  12. Estrellita, dónde estás, me pregunto qué serás, en el cielo o en el mar, un diamante de verdad, estrellita, dónde estás, me pregunto qué serás
  13. Diez pececitos nadando en el río, rojo, verde, azul y amarillo, estaban jugando y uno se cansó, me voy a dormir y se retiró…
  14. Bate, bate chocolate, tu nariz de cacahuete
  15. El cacahuete (we line up and make a “peanut” train)
  16. Saco una manita, la hago bailar, la cierro, la abro, la vuelvo a guardar, saco otra manita, la hago bailar, la cierro, la abro, la vuelvo a guardar, saco dos manitas, las hago bailar, las cierro, las abro, las vuelvo a descansar (traditional Argentine song)
  17. La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar, porque no tiene, porque le faltan, una pata de [pa’] atrás
  18. Rompe Ralph/Wreck-It Ralph is our latest Freeze Dance song