Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dancing with The Professor

Monday nights are now 'Dance Night'.

Prior to our daughter's wedding, we enrolled in several rounds of dance lessons through the City of Mississauga. The first class was "Ballroom Dancing" Beginners. The instructor started with the Passo Doble. If you've been following Dancing with the Stars, you will recognize this as a rendition of a toreador with a cape, and a rather unfortunate bull. Our best guess is that the instructor in this session had been doing classes for so long that she was bored and decided to ramp things up a bit, after all, what do beginners know?? Subsequent weeks were confusing and frustrating and we thought it was all our fault...totally hopeless dancers. The class was a total loss, but we decided that since we had a mission to accomplish, we would sashay on and change teachers.

The second series of classes were remarkably better and the new teacher had the common sense to start with the waltz and introduce dances that are slightly more useful. We did well enough to enjoy dancing at the wedding and certainly had more confidence on the floor.

Ballroom dancing is not what people need to be taking to dance at weddings. The nature of the dance itself requires huge amounts of space, everyone going in the same direction, using the same method. It is NOT what the average couple do in social situations. I had a discussion about this with the director of programs and a new class evolved......"Dancing for Special Occasions". Luckily, the director of programs had also been involved in the Passo Doble debacle and completely understood the issue. Well, now that a new class has been initiated, we simply had to sign up, as did the director of programs. It was a great hit and the only thing was that now there was no ulterior motive, or imminent special occasion to prepare a routine for. It is good exercise.

This fall, friends have coerced us into yet another round of dance class and once again, I dangle the carrot of post-class chicken wings and beer at the local pub. The Professor, always the reluctant participant, can easily be swayed by food. You have to understand his dilemma. He is waaaay taller than I am, has size 14 feet, and his only claim to fame with musical ability was playing "the sticks" in Kindergarten. By now we are on a first name basis with the instructors who are not only questioning their own abilities to get the steps across to us, but also our apparent ardor of attending classes on Monday nights from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Again, pub food can be, and is, a huge motivator.

Even more humorous was this week's class where The Professor, voted the least likely ever to dance, has become the instructor's partner for demonstration purposes. He has one other major problem. He doesn't get "the beat", which is pretty amazing since he did specialize in "the sticks"...isn't that percussion??? I have to squeeze his shoulder and count so that he can get started. It's actually quite hilarious if you have my own twisted sense of merriment. Luckily for teaching purposes, the instructor counts out loud and prompts the waiting class.

So now, not only did he have to perform in front of all the other students, but he also had to dance with me and my friend whose husband was away on business. This is quite a bit of dancing. Don't feel too sorry for his feeling awkward in front of a class, after all, he does it for a living! The odds at the Pub were also in his favour as the wings and rancher fries were split three ways this time instead of four, so the reward was worth the sweat.

I must say, he looked rather good! Now all we need is another wedding!

[No, that is not us in the photo!]


  1. Well you can always have a great party and dance away.

  2. Sounds like great fun. Kirk is not a dancer or I would love to join you. See you Friday

  3. Oh how I wish I could talk John into going to a dance class. It's one of the things I wish I was better at. I've always thought it would be liberating to let loose on the dance floor with confidence.