Dancing in the Dark

I love music. I love to dance. I’m positive that in my other life,  I was a brilliant musician and an awesome dancer. But in this life, the Gods who delegated talent to each newborn, who passed along the conveyor belt, forgot to give me my brilliant musician gene and my awesome dancing skill.

My present predicament was hearing Elvis’ “All Shook Up” and the Four Season’s “Sherry” that had my feet tapping and moving in the kitchen while I was preparing dinner. I had such smooth footwork, graceful turns and dips as  I peeled carrots and sliced mushrooms. I was still inspired the next day when I signed up for line dancing classes, convinced that I would be able to keep up with the rest of the dancers. We would move  as one impressive unit, not a foot out of step.

I had missed the first wo classes by the time I joined the rest of the beginners’ group. I had also danced a year ago with the same instructor, who had this boundless energy and fun way of teaching. The dances and step-work would be a “refresher” course as I strongly believed that my feet would remember the steps as soon as I heard the music.

Did you know that feet behaves very differently when in a group? For some strange reason, my twinkle-toes, dips and doodles and other fancy steps were gone.

Several ladies commiserated as they remembered their beginning classes had them being out-of-step for quite some time. However, they were  now on their 14th class and they all  moved as one.  Their advice? Never  position yourself at the end of any row because line dancing has turns and repeats and no one to follow, if you were facing as wall.  Place yourself in the middle of a group where there would always be someone to follow. And, you know what?–they were absolutely correct.

We all watched attentively as our instructor showed us the steps in small blocks, without any music.  We copied her several times, then we did the complete dance a few times–to imprint on our memories.

By following others when the music started, it’s amazing how many dancers began and ended on the wrong feet; twirled in the opposite direction and remain slightly off the beat. Gales of laughter burst forth when we realized we were facing each other rather than in the same direction. Patiently the instructor went through the steps again until finally, we  were all twirling and moving as one–with the slower music. Giddy with our success, we graduated to a faster beat and rhythm. Our feet did its twinkle-toe moves and surprised us as we managed to dance successfully as one unit.

There is hope after all—I may be a dancer yet. . . .

 

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