Friday, January 04, 2008

Why I'm a little sore today

Last night I attended the Thursday-night practice party over at the studio. The place had been closed over the holidays, so this would be the first time I had danced in about two weeks (apart from my now-famous little impromptu practice moves in elevators, at bus stops, etc.) I was sort of afraid I was getting rusty, and there had been a time or two in recent days when I’d break into a sort of mini-panic as I’d try to recall how to do something like, say, a fifth-position break during a cha-cha-cha.

Angie, as usual, emceed the event; and again, as usual, the first dance was a foxtrot. I stepped out of the room for a moment just as it was starting, and had actually figured on sitting that one out; but then I turned around, and there, standing in the doorway, was none other than the Anginator herself, drawn up to her full six-foot height, with outstretched arms and a big smile on her face. She put me through my paces, including one very difficult move I had struggled with as we prepared for that performance last month. A bit later, she announced that the next number would be a West Coast swing, to the accompaniment of “Mustang Sally,” one of the most frequently-played tunes at the studio. Angie sometimes uses interesting and unique phraseology, and while I was looking for a partner for this one, I was a little surprised – as well as amused -- to hear her voice over the loudspeaker, saying “I need a Wilmore!” I had once asked her which of the dances she thought I did best, and was quite surprised when she replied that it was the West Coast swing – a difficult dance to learn, but one that looks really good when it is done right.

I ended up participating in every single dance that evening. There were a couple of numbers I would have sat out, but the instructors wouldn’t let me. In addition to Angie, I danced twice each with Lindsey and Gery, and once with Amber; all of my other partners were students or guests. Attendance was a bit sparse for this event, but I had enough partners there to keep me busy. (As an aside, I think all of this may be helping me to overcome my shyness.) It occurred to me later, however, that on this fine evening, all had happened just the way it should have, and that it was only right that my very first dance of the new year should be with Angie. I love history, and often find historical parallels in places most other people wouldn’t think of looking for them; and in this context, I had recently been through a Great Depression of my own, and Angie had sort of been the FDR of my New Deal.

Anyway, all of that explains why I am aching just a bit today. I went to the practice party alone last night, but afterward I accompanied my wife and daughter to the rehab facility, where we visited Colin. I told him that in a couple of weeks, I’ll see to it that he gets to dance with Gery Slavova, whose picture he has often seen on Flickr. He seems to like the idea, but what normal 19-year-old male wouldn’t? (I think a friend of his in Utah now has a crush on her, just from looking at her in my Flickr photostream.) Seriously, I want to get him hooked on this now. For roughly the price of a cocaine habit, he can become addicted to ballroom dancing instead, and I hope in this way to enable him actually to benefit from his addictive personality.

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