Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dance Lessons

I may be off a bit here.  In my dotage I'm not sure if these events took place in 7th or 8th grade.  I asked several classmates and they were as clueless as I am.  So I figure since it's my blog I'll make it 7th grade.  In Wenonah when I was a teenager the parents all felt we required some education in the social graces.  Specifically ballroom dancing.  None of us shared their opinion but this seemed to be a non-negotiable issue.  By banding together the parents insured that none of us could say, "but Jack Wiler doesn't have to go".  Even worse they used social pressure and hounded us as we visited each others homes.  
So it was that in early winter we were herded to the Presbyterian Church along with the grade below us to learn how to dance.  We had two instructors, a man and a woman, and they loved their work.  We did not.  We began with simple steps; the Box Step, the Fox Trot, and moved onto more elaborate things like waltzes and sambas.  It was torture.  Torture for so many, many reasons.  First we had to dress up in good clothes, second we had to dance with girls or vice versa boys, third, we were not given a choice of who we would dance with.  Our partners were assigned according to an arcane formula.
And so we whirled across the floor of the multi-purpose room of the Presbyterian Church, twenty or thirty young men and women with pimples and greasy hair or odd clothing or weird heads.  All of us forced to comport ourselves as ladies and gentlemen.
We did this for about eight weeks.  The final week we had a formal dance (suits and ties, dresses) and a dance contest.  And we all wanted to win.  Go figure.  This thing we hated we now wanted to excel at and we took pride in our ability to glide effortlessly across the floor.
I'm sad to report that this class has really had only one benefit in my life...when I go to a wedding I can do a mean foxtrot.  Otherwise in the real world of young men and women dancing it was a waste of time.  Next...going to my first dance at Gatorland.

2 comments: said...

Mine was 7th grade, too. Only we had to learn western dancing in school. Dosey-doh was so radically uncool in 7th grade. Lucky for us we had a weekly venue for real dancing, Friendship Hall. Motown, in the dark. Until they discovered we were all making out and doing drugs. Then it was Motown with the lights on.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you saw dwts