Sunday 3 November 2013

Dance Like a Fool

I suppose that when I was a very little kid, I would dance whenever there was music on the radio. I imagine that I danced when there was no music at all. I’d probably dance with wild abandon as if no one was watching. There were people watching of course, what parent can resist a cute kid twirling and stomping around the house? That was probably the last time I felt comfortable dancing in my skin.

When I was in high school, there were dances all the time. Probably “all the time” was once a month, but for the painfully shy guy I was back then, it seemed that they happened every week. I suppose that I did dance every now and then, but I was self conscious and had no idea what to do with my feet, hands, eyes or really any other part of my anatomy.
I would look to see what the other boys were doing and they looked just as silly as I felt. Unlike me however, they seemed to be enjoying themselves with smiles on their faces and a confidence that they were doing the right thing at the right time. Women and girls look right when they dance and when I watch them it seems that they have a natural grace that comes from a genetic predisposition to dance. I have always danced like everyone was watching, when in reality, no one was.

I have avoided dance for most of my life. I don’t enjoy it, even though I wish I did. I feel that there are enough foolish looking people in the world without my adding to their numbers. You can’t go through life without dancing however. I will find myself at gatherings where I just can’t avoid having to dance, mainly at weddings and a very few parties. I will dance with Louise once or twice and pray that she is content with that. Sometimes I have been pulled onto the floor by some well meaning friend that doesn’t understand how self conscious I am about dance. No matter what the song, it always seems to be 30 minutes long and that is 29 minutes and thirty seconds too long for me.

I still don’t know what to do with my hands, feet, eyes or mouth when I am on the dance floor. Do you talk to your partner? How can you hear her over the noise? What do you talk about, how awful I am dancing? On the rare occasion when I have felt comfortable swaying to the music, there is always some over exuberant couple that continues to bang into me which causes me to move further and further away to the outer edge of the floor.

Louise and I took dance lessons when Arwen was about to be married. I did enjoy dancing in the classes. We learned the Waltz, Rumba, Swing, Foxtrot and Salsa I think. It was fun. We were in a large room with plenty of space to manoeuvre and we could take the time to learn each of the steps. Unfortunately, I have since lost all that I learned and even if I hadn’t, the reality of the dance floor is that they are far too small to do anything that we learned.

Maybe we should sign up for more dance lessons, that way Louise would get to dance, I wouldn’t be so self conscious and there is always the possibility that I will learn to like dancing. It’s possible that I will once again develop the ability I had as a very young boy to dance like a fool as if no one was watching.

Maybe we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

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