As promised, here is an update on the ballroom dance lessons Terry and I began last Tuesday. Let me start by saying that the idea for these classes was a simply ingenious one! Our church offered 4 ballroom dancing classes with child care beginning on Valentine’s Day – all for $75. BRILLIANT. Husbands who jumped on this gravy train of pre-designed romantic greatness were definitely on their toes (pun intended).
I need to take a side bar here…
and say that the idea of participating in a dancing class AT my CHURCH was a hurdle this Pentecostal Church of God girl had to overcome. I mean really! Dancing and Heroin were virtually the same gateways to Satan when I was growing up – so I was a bit concerned that lightening would strike the building and the hand of God would come down and write SINNER on the church wall! Thankfully, none of that happened – but I’m sure some of my former Sunday School teachers collectively rolled over in their sanctified graves when I took the first 188.8.131.52 steps of the Waltz.
And now back to our story….
The evening was pretty jammed packed from start to finish. We arrived, paid our fee, dropped the Princess in care and went into the room designated for the lessons. About 20 other couples were in attendance – and to a couple we had the look of deer caught in the oncoming headlights of a Mac truck.
No one was in their comfort zone. When you are trying something new – that can be of immense comfort.
The instructors (Paula and Rob – I think those were their names – but I can’t remember and I tried calling Terry because he has a better memory for names than I do, but he didn’t answer the phone; and I have a finite window to get this written and posted before I have to go pick up the child from school – so they will now and forever more be known as Paula and Rob) had their semi-comedic banter down to a very practiced science. They explained the classes would teach us the basics of 4 American-style ballroom dances – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango and I don’t remember the 4th one – I guess I will find out (remember) when it comes. And then we basically got down to learning the steps of the Waltz.
Oh and how to count. You have to know how to count to 6 – I felt like I was perfectly capable of mastering this level of counting, I mean I do have two degrees (though neither is in math) – but often times I found this assumption was terribly, terribly wrong. We learned the proper frame in which to hold and be held by your partner and we learned that ballroom dancing is basically an extremely misogynistic exercise that requires that the man lead and the woman follow – but all that is ok because the woman has to be much more skilled than the man; after all she has to do it all backwards (and in high heels if you are Ginger Rogers or in a Kenny Chesney song).
We practiced the Waltz for the majority of the time and even learned how to turn! Be impressed people! It is harder than it looks.
We had a few minutes of learning the Fox Trot – which I found to be much harder than the Waltz, but probably because it required me to change my counting cadence and change has always been a challenge for me!
And then it was over – the hour and a half flew by, AND it was really really fun! We ended the evening with a romantic dinner for 3 (Terry, Arden and me) at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. All in all one of my most favorite Valentine’s Days ever!
Here are my three take aways from the lesson:
- I’ve always thought that one of my primary love languages was Words of Affirmation – but an interesting thing happened throughout the lesson – whenever Terry would compliment me on how I was doing, I would mess up. To the point where I just basically snapped at him “stop telling me I’m doing great!” Not a phrase I would have ever believed would come out of my mouth.
- Dancing backwards makes you use muscles you don’t normally. And, these muscles are not used in a well distributed manner – Wednesday morning my right calf muscle and my left shoulder were sore. I felt out of balance all day, and worked very hard not to swagger around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- My favorite part of the entire experience was when we got into the car with Arden after the lesson and were talking about the dancing – Terry told Arden “It was fun – but the best part was getting to look at your beautiful Mommy for an hour and a half! I don’t get to do that often enough.” (Insert Awwww’s) Better than flowers and chocolates! Maybe Words of Affirmation DO hold sway in my heart – just not when I’m trying to keep count AND walk backwards at the same time!
So that was Lesson One. Lesson Two is this evening where we were told we would review the dances from last week and add another – heaven help me – the COUNTING! I am happy to report that we practiced both the Waltz and Fox Trot for a bit last night and seemed to do alright. The dog and Arden agreed – so we are good.