February 10, 2000

Dancing naturally? Hah!

I have heard that anybody can learn how to dance well, that practice makes perfect and that you just have to let your body move naturally.

Not true.

It's true that you can become better, that you can learn to think about dance in a different manner, breaking it down into its components so it becomes more digestible. But dance well? I don't think so.

We had our first group lesson last night and the dance of the evening was the cha-cha. (First, anything that makes me think of one of the Gabor sisters is automatically suspect...) Group lessons go something like this: learn a step that comes after the previous one, practice once (maybe twice) with a partner, switch and do it again. And again. And again.

The problem is that, somewhere in my body, I must have a bundle of nerves acting like a kink in a garden hose. Because I can't even try to do more than one thing at once. And then trying it to music! (I thought my brain was going to burst when they put the fast music on.)

So I'd go over it in my head: 1) side rock-back; 2) step step step; 3) forward rock-back; 4) step step step.

And I could do the feet ok, but all this time I'm supposed to be doing other things too! In between 3 and 4, the woman is supposed to do some curly thing and wind up, somehow, in your right arm, then you do the rock step things together, then she curls back out and you do a set of steps and you're just holding hands, then you're in the traditional dance position again.

All this and I'm just trying to move my feet! Ack!

Compounding this is that I'm dancing with other women. Where do I look? I can't look in her eyes; if I look down I look not only at her boobs (bad) but at our feet, which is like trying to type while looking at your hands. So I don't know what I'm doing and I don't know what to look at.

It wasn't a pretty sight. Barb got a little flustered, but she definitely picked things up. She is very coordinated, even graceful.

Work stuff: went down to DC at the end of last week and had some killer meetings with Rusty and Christopher. This framework is going to be great.

Wedding stuff: Invitations will be in the mail soon! We've started addressing them, I picked up the stamps today and we've got the whole map/directions thing figured out.

Next: Family changes, still MORE dancing
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