I’m not much of a dancer.
Some bad dancers have two left-feet. Somehow I think I manifest three left feet when I am cajoled out on the floor.
Unilegged and brilliant dancer ‘Pegleg’ Bates was smooth as silk. I, with a full two lower extremities, couldn’t hold a candle to Mr. Bates. He’d probably have beat me in a footrace, too.
And while I boast a good memory generally, when it comes to matters terpsichorean and demands a recall of steps, it all goes out the window and there is an egregious disconnect between brain and feet.
I only say this because my tango-mad and much cherished friend, Linda, would like me to take up that wonderfully sensual Argentine dance – a dance I admire avidly mainly because it is so sensual (I’m like that). Linda loves tango so much that she actually counts down the hours before he next session.
I was never much of a dancer, though I admire those who do it well. I have favorite dancers of stage and film, with an especially fond regard for the athleticism of Donald O’Connor and the smooth silkiness of Gene Kelly.
I’ve been to recitals and covered them for the newspaper and always enjoyed myself. Give me a soft-shoe and I am delighted to watch. I’ve even been to the ballet a few times and found it much more entertaining that I might have anticipated.
Jazz dancing, not so much. Like jazz itself, too much of a good thing is – well – too much.
When I was young and realized how much I adored the opposite sex, I thought it would be worthy to learn how to dance properly. But, learning how was kind of like mastering high school chemistry; there was some sort of fundament I didn’t get so I essentially gave up. I mean, I danced (sort of) and I came to realize you didn’t really need to be all that good to dance ‘close’ with all the pleasantness of grinding pelvi and breasts thrust to chest.
A few years ago Wendy and I decided to set matters straight by taking up nightschool ballroom dancing lessons. We were determined to master the esoterica of not only the waltz and foxtrot, but also the aforementioned tango, cha-cha, samba and salsa. We stuck it for a few weeks and I began to feel like I was back in school again as in, this isn’t all that much fun, it’s actually work. And, as we were encouraged to practice at home, we found it also entailed homework.
Good dancing is an art. It’s an art I don’t have any mastery of, though I admire those who do. God, in his beneficence, gave me certain skills with painting and writing and I am grateful for that.
But dance wasn’t one he gave me.
Sorry, Linda. Much as I’d love to whirl around the floor with you, I don’t want to embarrass both of us.