TEACHING YOU TO DANCE IS LIKE TRYING TO NAIL JELLO TO A TREE

elaine dancing

Ahh, those blissful dreams where you are on your fourth job interview and you look down and realize you are stark naked? And the times you simply could not stop snorting with laughter during a loved one’s memorial service? And the teenage dates where your impossibly pimply new boyfriend is perched uncomfortably on the edge of your couch, while your hidden Boston Terrier lets rip a silent but deathly from her invisible hidey hole under your Mom’s couch?

Trust me…none of those compare with the night I was summoned to the front of my second ballroom dance class and handed back a refund in full. Josephina, the autocratic Austrian dance instructor, sniffed disdainfully as she informed me, “My dear, please do us both a favor and never, EVER, under any circumstances consider that dance has any meaningful place in your life. Not only should you never darken the door of this studio again, I implore you to please never inflict yourself upon any other dance teacher, EVER. I’m sure you must have several things you do well, but trust me, dear, THE DANCE and YOU were never destined to be friends in this lifetime.” I briefly pondered whether Arthur Murray Dance Studios were covered by this lifetime prohibition.

Chastened and mortified, I slunk out of that crowded room wondering how my Fred and Ginger fantasies could take such a wicked downturn. Sure, it was true I had stepped on many feet during those two lessons, and of course, I went left instead of right at least 80% of the time, and even excluding that awkward incident where I stumbled over that sweet elderly couple and took them straight down onto the hardwood floor…jeez people! Isn’t that why it’s called a CLASS? Instruction? If you already know how to do it all beautifully, why would I need to shell out $300 for lessons?

I started dancing when I was thirteen, in the 1960’s. No one needed to touch anyone when you were jerking, twisting, locomoting, and hanky pankying to Twist and Shout, Runaround Sue, Brown Eyed Girl, and Mustang Sally. In the event that you did slow dance with a boy, no skill was required; simply clutch each other tight and pretend you were sharing a full-body condom, then lightly shuffle feet. Perfection guaranteed, and as a bonus gift, often a baby nine months later!

For over forty years I have managed to not quite kill anyone on a dance floor, whilst still able to keep my hip rhythm nicely intact, thank you very much. I assure you not a single husband or boyfriend has withered from mortification at my performance on the dance floor. Not until my arrival in Paradise anyway.

These zany bastards actually want to touch you when they dance. Yep, and not only that, they want to twirl, spin, and dip you, all to some foreign roadmap I have never been exposed to. Was I absent from school the week they taught this stuff in eighth grade? Maybe it happened the year I went to school in a quonset hut in Bad Hersfeld Germany while my Dad was in the Army? Because every other woman in Paradise knows about this secret dance situation…except me.

I am utterly perplexed by how they know, seemingly intuitively, when to go right or left and when the dude is preparing to twirl them around. I go to many dances and keep my CIA-trained eyes latched onto these women, searching, longing to know their secret.

I truly believe it must occur when the Mothership spirits them away for their nocturnal adventures. I realize that when Whitley Strieber wrote in his NY Times best seller “Communion” about the anal probings he was subjected to…he was really referring to The Dance, Boss, The Dance.

So, Mr. Adorable, here’s my deal. If you expect me to dance like a real girl at disco night tomorrow, I suggest you get me an express ticket on the Mothership tonight, because I now understand what is really happening on these alien invasions.

Featured image courtesy of NY mag.com

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