To dance is to love… (srbottch)
What is it about men and dancing ? While women flourish on the dance floor and enjoy the spotlight, many men seem reticent to join them. I was one of them…
It began with the Swing, ‘it’ being pressure. “Change partners”, instructed the instructor. I felt it…palpitations…perspiration… pressure! I was petrified.
I had agreed to dance lessons with my wife, a natural dancer. Me, I’m a natural wallflower, a slug on the hardwood. And while I was willing to learn, I wasn’t expecting to dance with other women, even if it made me a better dancer. Dancing, not better dancing, was my objective.
Understand, I had never danced with another woman since our marriage more than 25 years ago. I rarely danced with my wife. This was virgin territory. I wasn’t resisting, but I wasn’t just jumping in feet first, either.
We conquered (my words) the swing and other dances; waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, and the ‘dance of love’, the rumba. As our confidence grew, so did our repertoire, we added some samba, a little mambo, and the always exciting and fast paced polka. We only sat out when they played a tango.
Now, we were hooked and looking pretty good on the floor, at least in my mind’s eye. I bought dance shoes and took compliments seriously, while my wife’s ‘eye rolls’ kept me grounded.
But, like anything, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Some fractures, a fall, and some inconvenient surgery interfered just enough to upset our skill sets. Did I forget to mention memory? We just plain forgot stuff, too. But we persevered.
Now we’ve discovered ’round dancing’. Unlike square dancing, we dance to traditional ballroom rhythms, moving in a circle, not a square, to a ‘caller’, and we don’t change partners. I’ll repeat, I only have to satisfy one woman, my wife. How hard is that? Even the ‘caller’ tells me what steps to do. So simple! No sweat! No pressure!
Of course, I do have to know the intricacies of the steps. After all, it’s dancing, and that can be problematic for me at times. Sometimes, I go left when she goes right, I step back when she goes forward, I turn when she doesn’t.
We’re having fun, laughing, often at ourselves, enjoying the social mixing, and the challenge of learning something new. We’re getting exercise, physical and mental, both important to us.
And just as the dance moves in a circle, a symbol of eternity, so do we, one couple, in love with the dance, and each other.
Go dancing, men. Take the ‘lead’…
As entertainer Craig Ferguson quipped,
“If a man doesn’t know how to dance, he doesn’t know how to make love!”