My first night of dancing, of true real-life dancing, began with finding the right shoes. I had just one pair that would fit the bill; a pair of seldom-used expensive dress shoes with the non-marking sole. I found some blue slacks and a long blue-sleeve shirt to go with it, and I felt like I was going to some formal event.
But really, it was. Even though it was just going to be my wife and I and an instructor or two, it was a festive occasion. I'd gotten my wife dance lessons for Christmas, and I was ready to learn how to dance.
For years I've made a fool of myself dancing, have felt foolish and out of place on the few dance floors I've been on (mostly at weddings). But now, I had my chance at redemption. I approached the lessons with an open mind and a desire to soak in everything possible in order to enjoy something I'd never enjoyed before. It helped that the dance lesson was a private dance lesson, so the entire studio consisted of more staff (owner plus four instructors) than students (my wife and I). One instructor was with us, another hung out and jumped in as needed and the others were in the background working or whatever.
Although we'd wanted to Tango, because we were both so new and inexperienced (especially me) the instructor thought it best to start with the basics of a few dances. The Fox Trot and Waltz were up our alley. I'd heard of both but was unaware what exactly the Fox Trot entailed.
Step, step, excuse me; step, step, excuse me
We can all step forward and back; the excuse me, our teacher explained, was as if we were trying to step sideways as if taking a step into a row of seats at the movie theater. Excuse me
We started off in each other's arms... okay, it wasn't that romantic. Actually, romance never entered the fray as I was concentrating on the dance steps. Though we did hold each other, the first was a practice hold (I think that's what he called it), where I held my wife's arms above the elbow and she did the same to mine. We were more trying to figure out the steps while making contact with each other more than actually dancing together.
We also learned to get out of trouble. That is, if you're dancing and you reach a corner or you are amidst a crowd and need to get out of trouble, you use this move to do so.
Rock forward, rock back, excuuuse me
So we step-step-excuse-me'd our way across the dance floor. A few trips across the dance floor and we were elevated into the actual dance position.
Step, step, excuse me; step, step, excuse me; rock forward, rock back, excuse me
Somewhere in between we waltzed, which consisted of dancing in a sort of box.
Start with the left foot, step forward, bring right foot forward, excuse me to right, bring left foot together, right foot back, left foot back, left foot excuse me, right foot excuse me
Nothing to it. I just practiced right now in my kitchen, where I'm sitting while I type, and I got it down. It's not graceful but that will come with time.
In the end, the lesson finished much too soon. I felt as if I was just getting the hang of it when the class was over. We scheduled another lesson for Friday and we are both looking forward to it. I'm anxious to get all dressed up again and developing this new-found hobby. I'm not a natural dancer, but now I have a bit of confidence in myself, and know that I can get this dancing thing down somewhat.
And have fun while doing so.