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Proof That I May, In Fact, Be a Girl
Saturday, 2005 August 13 - 1:10 am
Or maybe not. You decide.

When I was in college, I took a ballroom dance class.

Twice.

The first time I took it, it was with my friend Jen (whom you may remember from previous articles). It was offered as a non-credit class. I'm not exactly sure what prompted us to try it. I think I somehow convinced Jen that it would be a good idea, because I was just a little bit in love with her at the time. Funny, the things we'll do.

I remember the first class, and how we were all awkward and nervous, and it was just as if we were eighth graders in charm school or something. We clasped our sweaty palms together and bumbled around like everyone else, sometimes giggling with embarrassment. One-two-three, one-two-three.

But over the course of a few weeks, a funny thing happened... we got to be pretty good. And before long we were devouring new steps, eager to show them off in front of the instructor. We breezed through the waltz and the foxtrot and the rumba. Then came the jitterbug.

We LOVED the jitterbug. We had tremendous fun with it. There were spins and fancy turns, and it was energetic... it felt like dancing. Everything else seemed sedate and dull by comparison. We found that the song "Take On Me" by a-ha had a perfect jitterbug tempo. We went to a carpeted room and practiced "lifts", and I only dropped Jen on her ass a handful of times.

After the class was over, it was like having a secret. We had this thing that we shared, something that we had done together, just the two of us. Jen and I had been close before that, but I always credit that ballroom dancing class for really bringing us together.

The second time I took the class, it was with my friend Heidi. I've only mentioned Heidi once before, very briefly. She was a pretty Arizona blonde girl that was in my college Christian group.



I liked Heidi. I probably decided to take the ballroom dance class again to try to create some of the same magic I'd felt the first time. And you know what? It worked, again. We had great fun, especially with the jitterbug. (Heidi was this little wisp of a girl, barely over five feet tall and ninety-five pounds, and man did she love those lifts and throws.) And by the end of the class, we'd really grown quite close. I think Heidi and I might have become a couple, had I not graduated from college and moved away a few months later. Ahh, who knows.

In the years that followed, I did some dancing at weddings and such, but I never took another class. And slowly, dancing lost its appeal. It's not that I stopped liking it... I just missed the feelings of intimacy that I'd had with Jen and Heidi. I was never able to recapture that. In time, I did go to a couple of swing-dancing events, but I just felt all of the awkwardness and none of the excitement. And so, I figured my ballroom dancing days were just about over.

Except...

Sarah just had a terribly funny post about the Hustle, and that's what got me thinking about all this again. I came to a realization tonight: for the right girl, I'd do it again. I'd go through the nervousness and the awkwardness and the stepping-on-toes, if only for the opportunity for that bit of intimacy. It would be worth it.

I think that's a perfect metaphor for dating.

Maybe I'm a bit of a romantic. And maybe that makes me a little girly. Or maybe I can assert that it's okay for men to have feelings of romance and sentiment and longing. Is our society ready for that?

Anyway, thanks, Sarah, for bringing this topic to mind. This is for you:

Permalink  2 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: datinglife

Comments

Comment #1 from MonoCerdo (Guest)
2005 Aug 13 - 11:13 am : #
Thanks, Ken! However, this dandy and his gal seem like they're doing the sober, non-discofied version of the Hustle. Or maybe they just haven't gotten to the good stuff yet. My margarita-inspired maneuvers looked something more like this http://www.franklarosa.com/vinyl/Exhibit.jsp?AlbumID=55, with heavy emphasis on the parts where you throw your arms up and shout, "Do the Hustle!" Now jitterbugging. That's WAY out of my league.
Comment #2 from Jenn (Guest)
2005 Aug 13 - 1:56 pm : #
My sister-in-law and her husband are actually championship ballroom dancers. So every wedding I've been to where they are also there turns into the Ballroom Dancing Show, while The Husband and I are over there on the corner of the dancefloor stepping on each other and giggling.

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