Monday, June 7, 2010

In Big Trouble

The traditional pop music song "Fascinati...

When I began dancing lessons, my goal was simple: develop enough skill to dance with the bride and a few of our friends at this weekend's upcoming wedding. If I got through without anyone needing emergency podiatry or me feeling like I should have stayed home and mailed a gift instead, the day would be a success. Dancing with the Stars or Saturday Night Fever could wait.

As it is, I've completed my first six weeks and decided to continue for a while. For one thing, doing so means I learned the foxtrot last Saturday, a real milestone. Not that it's all that difficult, but it's got style even if I have yet to develop grace, and it looks like late night slow jazz in a club in the Village with lovers whispering in darkened corners. Done well, even watching it leaves you breathless.

To be honest, what drew me to ballroom dancing was the image of leading someone across the floor like Fred Astaire with Ginger Rodgers, doing the foxtrot. I suppose I could be accused of being a romantic, but if you've seen the two of them in a classic film, you know what I mean. Besides, it strikes me as the kind of step a man can do that shows he's sufficiently secure in himself and his masculinity to at least try to be graceful.

And "try" is exactly where I'm at. My instructor is as fluid as mercury draining from a broken thermometer. Me? I'm still the Tin Man and Dorothy's taken the last train back to Kansas. But the beauty of the foxtrot is, it's forgiving. As long as you don't trip your partner and fall all over yourself in the process, you look pretty good. Not as good as Fred, but that's fine -- as long as none of my partners turn out to be Ginger. If that happens, I'm in big trouble.

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