Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Dance Lesson

Journal for Christa—
Smiling broadly, Kathy exclaimed, “Yes, you’ve got it, and it looks beautiful!” Jay and I stared back in disbelief, suspended in time. It was like hitting pause on the DVD player. Beautiful? In all the years we’ve danced, no one (who would know) has ever said that to us. “Beautiful” to a dance instructor means one thing: good technique. Our technique is generally not good. As a matter of fact our poor technique has been a plight to every teacher who’s attempted to teach us.
In the beginning technique simply overwhelmed us, and it bit into our enjoyment factor—which was why we’d decided to dance in the first place. It wasn’t that we wanted to look totally ridiculous. It was simply too much.
But, there were always the reminders each week: “Stand up straight.” “Set your gaze across the room.”  “Balance your weight over the balls of your feet.”  “Take longer strides.” And slowly the waltz became our favorite dance.
If we’re having a particularly good evening—where Jay is leading well and I’m following well—it’s fun to close my eyes through some of the familiar patterns—which Jay says I should never do. But it’s fun to just feel the motion and imagine we’re far far away. (It also helps me to not get dizzy.)
It had been a week with some frustrating moments. It had worn on me. It was a good night to work on something that totally takes my mind away from the rest of my world.
As Kathy went on to pontificate the effects of our rise and fall, I had to wonder if her satisfaction had come from our accomplishment or hers in teaching us the difficult sequence. Being a teacher myself—I think it was probably both.

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