All those dance lessons have mostly shown us how far we are from being good dancers. The system is set up to get you to learn more, learn more, learn more. Shift from level 1 to level 2, from level 2 to level 3. Adopt the clothes, the culture. Add a move, a styling, a shift of weight you hadn’t tried. And then Saturday night we went to the Whitehorse and danced to a honky tonk band. This is what we wanted all along. A little two step, a little swing, my purse whipping dangerously around my body when I spun. The floor was concrete, the crowd mixed, and we danced all that we wanted to. We danced just fine.
July 18, 2015
Came home to music from the brown room, Chris with a guitar and microphone. Cats as his audience. Cats climbing, entering, inserting themselves. Cats, we imagine, dancing inside.
May 27, 2015
On Monday we are tired, sure we can’t learn how to glide with ease like those West Coast swing dancers we admire. Out on the floor, they spin, they clunk along trying to find the rhythm in cowboy boots, they perfect their turns, pausing to watch videos on a laptop. We arrived too early. While we wait, we sink lower, overwhelmed by how far it is from here to good.
March 30, 2015
For his birthday, we sat at a bar with walls made of salvaged wood, artfully assembled. We ordered the Moscow mules tinted with carrot juice, syrupy sweet. Because it was his day, he sent his back, got a Prosecco instead. Because it was his day, we kept going, away from the $9 tacos and strange grits to patatas bravas and paella down the street. We went to dance class, practiced the left side pass, the invitation. Without knowing it was his day, the women wanted to dance with him. He beamed. We kept going, on to a bar where a band spun Motown tunes, their claps, their side steps, their struts all in time. Ain’t Too Proud, Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi, September. We spun on smooth-soled shoes. We threw our hands in the air. He beamed. What I want for him in this year: a little of what the night contained. Bubbles. Dancing. Smoked paprika. Joy.
March 23, 2015
After a long car ride, it’s hard to sleep, my body still hurtling through space. After a train journey, my bones keep jostling for a day. It’s getting like that with the dancing, the movement continuing after the dancing stops. Step step triple-step triple-step. Step step triple-step triple-step. I am lying in bed, but my body is turning under a man’s arm. I am sitting in front of the computer, but my right foot is rock-stepping. I am waiting for the next move. We’ve finished three months of dance lessons and it’s starting to click. On Saturday night on the dance floor we felt like we knew what we were doing. And so Sunday afternoon we’re back at the studio, learning a new pattern. Outside, March enters gray and cold, but the redbuds show off their new blooms.
March 1, 2015
We’d first seen Albert and Gage firing up the dancers at the Central Market Cafe, then followed them to Donn’s Depot for a Wednesday evening show. When we booked them for our wedding, they said they’d learn one new song for us. I knew what it would be: Bruce Springsteen, If I Should Fall Behind. We danced to it in the kitchen, then on the temporary floor in our back yard hours after we were married under the oaks out front. And years later on a Saturday night at Donn’s Depot, we danced to it again. On the floor was the man with the glitter top, the woman in the burnt orange mini with little white boots. We slid right in. Albert and Gage have made the song their own in the six years since we married. But the lyrics are the same. “I’ll wait for you / Should I fall behind / Wait for me.”
February 28, 2015