33 days to go: arrythmically inclined
At a barbeque at Alex’s parent’s house last month, we mentioned that we had signed up for dance classes, partly for fun, and partly so we don’t make asses out of ourselves (still, no less inevitable) on the wedding dance floor. One of the vodka-infused revelers, not believing that I needed all the help I could get, spun/yanked me around the patio several times before cheerfully returning me to Alex. “But,” I pleaded, “I’m a really great cook!” As if that made my stiletto heel in his foot somehow more comfortable.
I can’t dance. I’ve never been able to dance. I can shake it, oh people, how I love to shake it – arrhythmically, asymmetrically, awkwardly, to Destiny’s Child, the sounds in my head, in the shower, standing on the bed, and in the middle of the living room with my best friend and Alex shaking their heads in dismay – but I can’t do the kind of dancing that takes the word “dance” out of quotation marks.
So, Alex and I are taking a Ballroom Sampler which tries weekly to turn my enthusiasm for things that suggest dancing into something that actually resembles it. We’ve had one week of Waltz (Me, red-faced: No, I DON’T GET IT. Where does my left foot go on the sixth step?), one week of Swing (Alex: Hand switch? What hand switch?!), and a week of Merengue (Me: You look like an oompa-loompa when you move your hips. Alex: At least I’m moving mine! Me: I can’t move my hips AND feet at the same time. They’re going to have to pick one!), and in this final week’s class, a Review, which eerily implies that we may have improved since we first clomped in.
It’s not the teacher’s fault we’ve only learned to “dance”-in-quotation-marks and not dance-as-if-we-actually-were. He tries; we’re just not… rhythmically inclined. I’m visual, mathematical, and spatial. I can throw myself into any ass-shaking good time, I just can’t do while keeping the beat, or frankly, any beat. Or, without looking like I’m having an aneurism.
Thus, we’ve settled on a slow-ish song. Fox trot-friendly, a dance that apparently a trained monkey can pull off with finesse. But, we’re not taking any risks, and have scheduled two private lessons between now and then. Also, I’m having some steel toes soldered into my white satin pumps, while Alex sands my pointy heels into more forgiving stumps. And because you can never be too careful, I think some dry-ice smoke obscuring the view of our klutzy feet. If all else fails, maybe someone will pay us to play one of Celine Dion’s ear-piercing power ballads. I mean, surely the kind of cringing and frightful clinging any dance to this song would require, is something even that our four left feet can pull off.
Good luck. I myself can't dance. What I usually end up doing, especially when I'm at a club, is I will run in place as fast as I can. I've been so ashamed of my dancing abilities that during wedding receptions, I always hide in the men's bathroom stall for about four hours until the coast is clear.
Sounds like fun! Have always wanted to learn ballroom dancing. But figured I would be clutzy, I didn't try. :) Chanced upon your blog while blog surfing a friend's (Anantya) of my friend's. Really interesting blog! :) All the best for your BIG DAY! :)
We forewent the dancing part and had all our relatives and friends put on a variety show for us with singing, speeches, sappy poetry, and jokes. It was horrible in an entirely different way. Good luck with the dancing!
Funny, I have those same shoes.
The trick to Merengue is to pretend your right leg (for women, left for men) is two inches shorter than the other. Solves the whole hip/foot problem.
Samplers are rough as they're really not enough time to let your body figure out what it's doing. But working on one dance to one song is a good way to get your body to remember what it's supposed to do. To actually learn a form of dance takes a few months before it starts to click. After those first months you stop thinking about where a foot goes or what count it is and you just do what feels right.
I'm tall and skinny, so everyone thinks I can dance. Wrong. I am rhythm-impaired. Even walking is tragic for me, as I tend to trip all over myself. Props to anyone who can move to music!