Along the way to this point in my life I have managed to avoid almost all situations that required me to dance. Now, don’t think I don’t have a love of music or can’t carry a beat… Heck, I played Trumpet for 6 years in JH and High school and finished sitting solo chair. It’s just that somewhere, in my wiring, anything that might trigger some self consciousness usually was like an “oops” with a weapons grade nuclear device and I would melt down.
So the simple solution was to evade the opportunity for personal embarrassment by avoiding scenarios that might develop into a “dance” opportunity which I successfully have done for the past 50 years…. I am now thinking this was not something to be applauded.
So what is different now? I think that all along I have wanted to dance, particularly with the love of my life but just could not take the potential personal pain of being “out there”.
Once, when I was in Seattle to teach a seminar, My wife and I, while pursuing an evening mall meal happened upon a small band playing in the area while we ate, and folks were dancing to good old tunes from the big band era.
By the time we were finished eating, I actually suggested we go dance .. and we did and had a great time at it until the band quit.. That was about 1976 and the last time I danced publicly.
Sure, I have gotten really hooked on Dancing with the stars. I only started watching it because I like John Ratzenberger and he was one of the celebrities on during that season. I quickly saw that he could do what I knew I could do and more, that his attitude switched from expecting an early dismissal to responding to his fans support that kept him in the running. In that I found an admiration and a lust for dancing and figured that if John could do that then It certainly would not hurt me. Several seasons since then I have found that I am now appreciating the whole beauty of the well performed dances without hardly noticing the lack of clothes on the female dancers.
Then, when #3 son Emery, III got married, there was a band and dancing at the wedding reception (actually a DJ, but that’s irrelevant). During the reception, I saw many of His wife’s family and friends dancing almost continuously and some of them were my age (and shape) and just seemed to be enjoying themselves without any apparent awareness that they were being watched. They were just dancing because they liked to dance.
I was sitting there really wanting to dance. I finally got up and did so with Merrily and loved it… all the while I kept looking out for that 3rd foot of mine that kept getting in the way. Never did see it but the experience convinced me that one skill I definitely wanted to have when we got on the road, was to be able to comfortably hold my own on a dance floor.
So for starters, we signed up for a 12 week social dance class at A Step to Gold and tonight was the second week. I have the slow dance (with promenade variation) under my belt and the rumba…. maybe. And we are totally enjoying it! This is way better than it was learning this stuff on an asphalt basketball court in 7th grade PE… Believe me!. This is really nice and now I really want to do it.
But I don’t think I will ever be doing any acrobatics (heck, at my age and condition, just taking a shower in the RV is pretty heavy on the acrobatics.
But we are having way more fun than I ever imagined I might.