Just Call Me Twinkle Toes (Episode 2)

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Dance class number two was a bit more of a challenge than the first.  To begin with, we were running late. I hate being late. It stresses me out. I find it rude – like I think my time is more important than others’ time – but sometimes lateness happens, and that is what happened last Tuesday.

We ran in (well I don’t run, so we walked quickly in) the room where the other dancers were practicing the steps we had learned the week before.  We were a bit frazzled and ended up stepping on each other a bit at first until we got into the grove, and then I felt like we had a pretty good handle on the two dances from last time.  We were event complimented on our turns in the waltz by the instructor (whose name is actually RON not ROB – but I did get Paula’s name correct, so I’m feeling quite accomplished in the name remembering department).

We practiced the previous dances and then they introduced a new one – the Rumba (aka the dance of love).  I did not find this dance to be at all lovely or loving.  It is hard!  It is awkward!  It was not fun!  And to be honest, I don’t understand why it was so difficult – it is a box step – you basically walk in a box formation – that does not seem to require significant dexterity – but it does and I do not have it! Honestly, neither of us have it – but we soldiered on and then they added a turn for the ladies.  Can you say train wreck?  The turning made me feel as graceful as a chicken with a broken leg. I mean if I had watched me trying to execute this turn, I would have pointed and laughed.  It was comical, but not in a good way – in a more “bless her little heart” way. I would have felt badly for me if I had been watching me.  Added to this ridiculousness was my choice of footwear.  I wore these cute little silver flats – but it was 110 degrees in the room and my feet were sweating, so every time I tried to turn my shoes would come off and I would trip over them!  I just want you to try to mentally picture a chicken, with a broken leg, in silver flats that keep falling off, trying to walk in a box and then a circle – I’ll give you a minute.

I’ve blocked out most of the Rumba lesson, so when we go back this evening I am sure more chicken strutting will ensue as I attempt to walk in a box and circle.

After the Rumba, we learned a simple swing step with the rocking back step thing, and I felt like with a little practice I could be in the cast of the stage version of Swing Kids.  I mean, it was good!  I felt redeemed and decided that I could continue on to lessons 3 and 4.  That was until I glanced over at some of our classmates and watched them spin and twirl and jump and jive (and I wanted to wail). I’m a bit competitive – understatement of the year – but I also realize my limitations, so I fixed my eyes back on Terry and decided to embrace the fact that neither of us stepped on each other during this particular step.  Progress is progress.

On a side note, I’ve loved most of the songs that they have chosen for the classes – but they played Mack the Knife during the last class.  I’m sorry but I find that song to be ridiculous.  Does anyone know all the words?  Is there a WAY to learn the words?  None of them repeat – I just can’t get into it.  Not surprisingly – Terry loves it.

So, we have learned all four dances that they intend to teach us.  Tonight will be review and expansion of these four steps – Waltz, Fox Trot, Rumba and Swing.  I can’t say I’m over-brimming with confidence in our ability to expound on these steps with any proficiency, but I’m no quitter so we will give it our best try.

A classmate and I were talking (when we probably should have been listening to instruction) about how we will use these lessons in the “real world” – I mean, when was the last wedding you went to that had any ballroom dancing encouraged?  Mostly it is the Electric Slide, YMCA and then Katy Perry – any ballroom dancing is the little old couple pushed to the edge of the floor trying to find the 1.2.3.4. count of a waltz to Firework – cute but not really the opportunity one is looking for to continue practicing our ballroom education. My friend and I decided we need to hold a ball – so that we can get dressed up and Rumba our way around a ballroom – she suggested New Salem would be fun and we could all wear period clothing – I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with this suggestion.  The corsets alone give me pause in pursuing this course of practice, but it may be our only option! I will keep you posted.

Ok, so tonight is lesson 3 – Lord only knows how this will go, but I can promise you two things:

  1. I am going to try to master that Rumba turning thing;
  2. I am wearing different shoes!

See you next week!

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