Monday, August 27, 2018

Hang In There

By Derek Anderson, Manoa

Having just finished college on the Mainland, I took a Ballroom dance class at Arthur Murray's as a way to meet the fair sex. Sound familiar? The course taught 6 dances and we met 6 Tuesdays for an hour. I paid close attention, tried hard, and was pleased to receive several compliments. I was excited when the instructor invited the class to go Ballroom Dancing with him the coming Friday for "Graduation".  I even remember going over my notes thinking what a great time I was going to have that night. Talk about a set up, I never had a chance. First I found I couldn’t tell a Tango from a Waltz from a Swing to save my life. To my inexperienced ear, they all sounded the same.

"Social dancers believe that if you love your music and dance from your heart,
your partner is sure to feel it too."


Then once the instructor told me what dance it was, I realized I could not remember the steps. The poor women in the class, bless their hearts, encouraged me to try and reminded me of some of the steps.Then I found out I didn’t know how to lead the steps. In class we had memorized the patterns. I started to seethe. Next I found I couldn’t hear the beat and think of the steps at the same time. Now I was angry. The ladies tried to cheer me up. They said none of the other guys were doing very well either. Oh, great. That makes me feel much better. But nothing prepared for the final acid pill. There was a girl in the class I had a hopeless crush on. I had tried unsuccessfully to dance with her three times that night.

"Bump n' Grind" by R. Kelly  (1994)


As she sat there twiddling her thumbs at the table, the instructor came over and asked her to dance. She couldn’t remember a thing either, but once he put his big arms around her she started to Waltz like Cinderella. She smiled and laughed and forgot about me. Hmmm, so this is what leading is all about. I just crossed my arms and steamed. It was obvious in the game of leading and following, the guy got the short end of the stick. I contemplated the cosmic joke that the sex that needs the easier part somehow got stuck with the harder part. No Fair ! Where do I go to report this injustice ?  No, I was not the winner. I soon left. Despite my total humiliation, afterwards I decided not to quit.  I sure am glad I didn't.  Nor should you. I am still having the time in my life in the social clubs and even in the nightclubs.

"We ought to dance with rapture that we might be alive …
and part of the living, incarnate cosmos." -D.H. Lawrence