For some reason I was thinking about dancing today. Yeah, weird. I have no idea why. I'm not planning on going dancing any time soon, and really I'm not thinking about my normal type of dancing, anyway...you know--in a bar with some friends, all doing your own version of the white man's overbite, rushing en masse to the floor when a particularly great song comes on. (I used to do that a lot for "That's What I Like About You" as sung by the Romantics. Dating myself here, I know, but I frickin' loved dancing to that song.) Not thinking about ballet, or country two-stepping, or musical theatre dancing. No, for some reason, I'm thinking about good, old-fashioned partner dancing, swing dancing, Fred and Ginger dancing. Wedding reception dancing.
I'm not particularly gifted in that area. Oh, I don't have two left feet, exactly, but sometimes the twirling and spinning confuses me. It's like playing Twister, only upright. Left foot where? Right hand what? But I'm pretty easily led, and with a really strong partner...I can see why Fred and Ginger were always smiling. It's fun.
The most fun I ever had at a reception was following the wedding of a high school/college friend. Big Catholic wedding--open bar, lots of food, and a great dance band with a sizeable dance floor. The magic ingredient, though? Her dad. Her parents both loved to dance, and we were always a little envious of how beautifully they moved together. Well, on such an occasion as the wedding of his first daughter, Mr. G wasn't going to see any young lady even approaching wallflowerdom. One by one, he grabbed us and swung us out onto the floor. Modest protestations of "I'm not really very good" were completely ignored, and for good reason. When you danced with Mr. G, you WERE good. We swung and swayed and dipped and twirled, and it was fabulous! How did he do that? I didn't know what we were doing from one second to the next, but it didn't matter. I haven't seen my friend or her parents in years, but wherever they are, I sure hope they're still dancing.
I've known a couple of other men with similar magic. One was the gay hairstylist/pageant coach of a friend of mine. The three of us went out drinking one night, and before the night was over, Wade and I were stars. He was an incredibly strong dance partner and, like Mr. G, would not hear from me that I really couldn't dance. "Just follow me, honey!" Before I knew it, we were cutting quite a rug. He flung me this way and that way, occasionally discreetly whispering "Twirl to the left....now!" or "Ready for a spin to the right!" It was like a movie--people actually made a circle around us and watched, and clapped. I don't know about you, but generally, if there's a big circle of people around me on a dance floor, staring...it's most likely because I have drunkenly fallen down, not because I'm aMAZing! When we made our way breathlessly back to the table my friend said "I never knew you could dance like that!" Neither did I. Well, except for that night with Mr. G.
So why am I thinking about that now? I don't know. Maybe because my life has been a little stagnant of late. Not enough fun, and definitely not enough dancing. Maybe that's a worthy goal for 2007--more dancing! Even if all I do is draw the blinds, crank the stereo up and dance like a fool by myself. Whee!!