Hero and I have been taking a six-week social dancing class. It’s been fun. We’ve done swing, foxtrot, and some waltz, though I find I’m not very good at the waltz.
I’ve been wanted to do a class together for a while. I’ve done a little swing before, and Hero’s picked up a little at parties and things, but he never learned to lead and signal properly, and of course we never had enough time to gain confidence. Since all the movement and fluidity and fun of dancing flows from the guy leading, this was all a bit frustrating.
The latter point was illustrated rather drastically last night when, as part of the last class, the teacher made us switch partners for the first time. (The class is geared towards couples, so she doesn’t have people switch normally, which we were grateful for. This is Date Night, after all.) We had to dance for thirty seconds or so with each of four new partners before going back to our own partner.
Oh my goodness that was some bad dancing.
Mind you, I don’t think badly of my partners. They were still learning and they probably panicked at having to change partners for the first time and, considering Hero’s experience, they were probably used to having their wives lead. (Hero did not dance with their partners, the way it worked out, but he said that all of his partners were trying to lead, and in some cases succeeding. So I think women actually learning to follow must be rarer than you’d like.)
However. The first one’s idea of a lead was a shove – I’m rather surprised he didn’t knock anyone over. At least he was shoving at the right time, so moving into the turn wasn’t too difficult.
The third one couldn’t remember the basic step, and when he did he couldn’t remember anything else, until the end when he tried to signal a turn at the wrong point in time.
The fourth remembered the basic step, but did it considerably slower than the music, and then ended up by accidentally groping me when he tried to do a cuddle turn without getting into four-hands position first. Kind of a problem.
(The second guy was just fine – he was an older gentleman who I suspect already knew how to dance before the class.)
I went back to Hero and put my forehead against the hollow of his shoulder and said “Oh thank God!” Because when I dance with Hero, I float.