Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dance lessons

File this under "Oh man, I can't believe it": Lady Jane signed us up for dance lessons, and last night was the first one. I don't even like 'Dancing With the Stars' (I've watched it once or twice). This is more a case of Frank Zappa's 'Dancin' Fool.' But, you know, the things we do for love.

Actually, we have talked about taking dance lessons for years. We thought Drew Carrie's wedding was a good excuse to finally do it (which is NEXT MONTH by the way). So Jane called and we got the deal where we get 3 private lessons, 2 group lessons, and 1 free night at their Friday night dance parties. And hey, at least I have a nice looking partner.

I do have to admit, it was even kinda fun. Chad was our 'guy,' and even though he called me Don all night, smelled kinda like pot (maybe it was just cigarettes), and was a little sweaty, we had a good time. He taught us the Rumba. We learned how to do the four-step box with rotation, the ladies slow spin, and about posture, timing, and leading/following.

As the guy, I am supposed to lead. I put my left hand up to hold the woman's palm (held about the height of the woman's nose). My right arm goes under her left arm, and I place my palm so my fingers cup her shoulder blade. My right arm (and her left) are to be held (her) shoulder height. Everything is in 4/4 time, and the Rumba is slow, fast-fast, slow, fast-fast. With the slow being 2 beats, and the fast as 1 beat. You start with your heals together and toes pointed at 11 and 1; the first step is always with my left foot, and I go straight forward just past my right foot; then my right foot angles over about shoulder width, and bring my left over to the right; then I step straight back with the right foot; and angle back with my left foot, and bring the right over to the left (slow on the step forward; fast right over and left over to right; slow back with right; fast over with left and right over to it). We rotate on the angled steps, not the straight forward or back; and only rotate about an eighth turn at a time. When I want Jane to do a spin, I raise my left hand (and her right) as I step back with my right foot, and I continue with the four-step box, but she does a six-step spin, and we come back together as I take the right foot over to the right (I think).

All in all it was actually a pretty good time. Chad even gave us a smiley face and a star. The lesson lasted 45 minutes. We were in a big room with mirrors all along the one wall. There was also a group lesson going on at the same time, but you didn't really notice the other people. I think there were four other students, plus two other instructors (or maybe it was three and three). I felt bad for the two guys that got stuck together. Although they may have wanted it that way, I dunno. So, we go for private lessons the next two weeks, and we get to pick whatever nights to go for the group lessons. We're supposed to pick anything listed as "social dancing." They have something different just about every night.

Afterward we stopped at a little place owned by a guy Jane knows from work. There was a guy there playing guitar. We've seen him before, though I swear he used to go by a different first name. Anyway, another night of fun in the Fort.


Jim said...

All that "left, and then right" stuff makes me realize I will NEVER be able to do it. This borderline dyslexic has a hard enough time remembering his left from his right with 30 seconds of time to think about it!

Sounds like fun, though. Wish I could dance. Bravo to you for going!

Tom said...

The battle has been long and hard. The fortifications have been battered and bruised with each salvo but so far they have remained intact. Morale has been low at times but the troops have always been able to rally and fight on. The battle is tough but winnable.

The biggest threat comes from the defectors. We know that the enemy will use them against us and they are a powerful weapon. It would be one thing if they went grudgingly and then sulked and stewed as they rumbaed and tangoed, but it is even worse when they actually seem to enjoy it. It takes steely resolve but we who remain will fight on to the death.


dan horwedel said...

Anybody can do it. Though a sense of rhythm does help. However, I haven't really done anything in public yet either, so... we'll see.

Ha! Half the battle is knowing which ones to fight.

Isaac Horwedel said...


One of the best comments I've ever read, anywhere.