Like most girls, I’ve long had a fantasy of gliding gracefully across the dance floor, cutting an image of elegance and artistry. My dance partner – my loving husband – would skillfully guide us through the most impressive moves to the admiring glances of all who were watching.
Like some girls, I tried to make that fantasy a reality. That reality however turned out to be several shades paler than I had hoped.
We were a young couple, married only a few years, with a small child at home. In my never-ending supply of great ideas, I enrolled us in night classes for ballroom dancing.
I’m grateful that Gilles loves to dance. On those occasions we get to dress up and party on, Gilles can always be counted on to occupy the dance floor for most of the evening …. but I wanted to elevate our game beyond a neanderthal shuffling.
It was an ominous start. Our instructors – a married couple – promptly informed the ladies in the group that if our toes were being stepped on, it was OUR fault. Gilles responded with a loud and hearty *HA!!* … and it went downhill from there.
We argued … we bickered … we found constant flaws in each other. Our weekly dance class became a stressful test of wills.
Things took a change for the worst when during one class, all the couples were split up and we had to dance with other partners throughout the evening. It was hell.
As much as I had maligned Gilles’ ability to lead on the dance floor, my other partners that evening were even worse. On the other hand, Gilles had ended the evening positively glowing. Every woman he had danced with expressed what a fantastic partner he had been and how they wished their husbands could dance as well.
Hmmmm. This was not going as planned.
The final humiliation came the night our instructors split Gilles and I up after another episode of whining at each other … okay, I was doing most of the whining.
Gilles went with the female instructor and I went with the male instructor. Clearly we had issues and they wanted to see exactly what the problem was. I expected to be wowed. It was not to be.
Mere minutes into the lesson, my instructor promptly stopped in the middle of the dance floor and strongly reprimanded me … we were supposed to be dancing – not wrestling. I was supposed to FOLLOW my partner.
By this point, I was beyond frustrated. Whose stupid idea was this anyway?!
My caustic response was that I’d never followed in my life and I wasn’t about to start now.
My humiliation was complete – I was responsible for our failure to achieve dancing glory and I simply wasn’t going to be that graceful little dancing nymph of my dreams.
Thankfully, Gilles still loves to dance and the neanderthal shuffle works just fine for us now.
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