Dancing. What a novel concept. Turn up the music, catch the beat, and move your feet. =) It’s a wonderful feeling! It doesn’t take much skill to have some fun, and there’s no need to do more than you’re capable of. Dancing.
What has me mesmerized by and enamored with dancing? Well, I just went to my first dance a few weeks ago. I mean, I’ve been to “dances” before–the kind where the music is blasting and people jump up and down, where you can’t hear yourself think and couples alternate between sitting in a dark corner and catching all the attention on the dance floor. I’m not a fan of those dances. The flashing lights and the ear-splitting noise usually leave me with an awful headache. And to be honest, jumping up and down doesn’t qualify as “dancing” in my book. But this dance was different.
Why so different, you ask? Well, it was a swing dance for the most part, with a little waltzing (and even some jumping up and down) thrown in. And it was great! My RA had taught me the basic steps (see my post “Enjoy the Dance” for details on that), but I’d never actually danced with a boy. Well… except for that one time with Ian, but that wasn’t actually at a dance. =P So, there I was, standing in a Baptist church and waiting for the dance to begin. There were going to be some lessons before the dance officially started, and I was hoping to find a partner for that. Then came the announcement from the microphone: “Ok, guys, ask a lady to dance and circle up!” My friends and I stood awkwardly for a moment, watching other girls get asked. Then the guys came up to us. To be completely honest, I was giddy. I had never, ever been asked to dance. This was the moment I was most looking forward to: my first dance.
Before I knew what was happening, a young man had asked me to dance, my hand was in his, and we were on the dance floor. For all I knew, I was flying! I was thrilled. He introduced himself and told me he was a senior. A senior?!? I couldn’t believe it! A senior had asked me–a nervous little freshman–to dance?! Now I was practically shaking with excitement and nerves. I could hardly concentrate on the dance lesson. Some senior guy had asked me to dance. Now, this isn’t to say that a freshman guy couldn’t have made me equally elated, but I couldn’t believe that I was at a school where a senior guy would ask a freshman girl (whom he’d not even met before) to dance! (I was about to be in for the shock of my life!) After we learned the basic steps and a simple spin together, all the girls rotated partners. I was standing in front of yet another awesome young man who was equally willing to dance with me. I was beaming with absolute happiness. Together we learned a slightly more complicated move called the pretzel. That was fun. We struggled with it for a while until some other couples helped us out.
While we were laughing about our less-than-perfect dance skills, I overheard one of the guys saying something rather true to another. They were talking about what a girl was thinking when her partner messed up. The one smiled and said, “We think she’s thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, why can’t he get this right?’ But really, the girl is thinking, ‘I’m wearing a dress, and I feel pretty, and I’m dancing! Yay!'” I thought this a very fitting description of what I was thinking at the moment. But there is one addition I’d like to make: “A guy just asked me to dance! He picked me out of all the girls that were standing around me! He actually cares about me! What? He just stepped on my foot? Totally didn’t notice… He’s dancing with ME!!!” Yeah… Guys, sorry if that sounds overwhelming. No, I do not think that you want to marry me, or even date me, after one dance. I am just completely thrilled that you cared enough to ask me! Ok… let me try to explain: There’s something beautiful about dancing; there’s a connection that forms when you dance with someone. It makes me almost giddy… not in a “oh my goodness, I’m in love” kind of way but in a more “dude, you’re my brother, and it’s awesome to spend time with you” way. I don’t know if that makes sense at all, but it is what it is. Dancing makes me happy.
I’m going to try to briefly highlight just a few of the many wonderful dances I had that night (for the record, every dance was wonderful!).
First, one of the sweetest dances all night was when another freshman came up to me midway through a waltz that I was watching and asked me to dance. As we walked to the dance floor, he admitted he’d never waltzed before, which was fine with me: I never had either. We spent the entire dance watching other couples, trying a few steps, watching again, trying again. By the end, we were just trying to get it. Maybe we both felt insecure by our lack of experience, but it was so much fun! I danced 2 other waltzes that night, both with very nice guys who had more experience, but I won’t forget my first waltz. I won’t forget learning to waltz on the dance floor with someone else who had no idea what he was doing. Maybe what made it so special was that even though this friend didn’t know what he was doing, he still took the lead in the dance (as a man ought to!). He made mistakes, and so did I, but he led and counted for both of us. What a neat experience it was to see a young man step out of his comfort zone (potentially) and risk embarrassment so that he could honor a young lady and learn a bit more himself!
I have one word for you now: SNOWBALL. Yes, in the middle of September. For those of you who don’t know what in the world I’m talking about, let me try to explain. You know those cartoons where a person starts rolling down a hill in the snow? And the snow rapidly covers the person until they become a giant snowball? Ok… It’s kinda like that but not really. =P First, everybody gets into a giant circle with one guy and one girl in the middle. That couple starts dancing until the DJ yells “Snowball!” At that point, the couple splits and runs to the edge of the circle, each grabbing a new partner and dancing with them. Now there are 4 people on the floor. At the next “Snowball!” there will be 8 people and so on. Eventually the whole room is dancing! It’s awesome! During one of the Snowball dances, two guys approached me at once. Now, as a girl, that made me feel VERY special. Of course, everybody is just trying to grab a partner, but still…
One last memory: Sadie Hawkins dances. Haha… my friends back home might be surprised to know that I chose to ask guys to dance, but it was great! For my first Sadie Hawkins, I asked a guy who’s in some of my classes but I didn’t talk to much. We had a great time dancing and laughing (even though my shoe flew off midway through the dance!). =) The next Sadie Hawkins, I asked one of my friends, and we also had a great time. I discovered something cool: It’s not the end of the world to ask a guy to dance! There is a time and a place for it, and it’s a lot of fun! The only thing you have to remember is that there is NO PRESSURE. This dance does not determine your future (ex. who you are going to marry). It’s JUST a dance. =) But it sure is fun!
What else can I say? There is so much to discuss and to reflect on, but I just can’t go into all the details. It would take far too long! =) So, to every guy I danced with, Thank you. Every one of you made my night that much more special.
I danced with experienced dancers and guys who were stepping out onto the dance floor for the first time. Some danced quickly, some danced slowly. Some stared at their feet (trying not to step on mine!) and others looked me right in the eyes. Some talked a lot while we danced; others didn’t say more than a few words. So, how did each guy in this eclectic group make me feel so special? It goes back to what I said earlier: He asked me to dance. Some guy honored me enough to see me standing on the edge of the dance floor and to offer me a chance to get off the sidelines and into the fun. It has NOTHING to do with any guy’s dancing abilities. It has everything to do with honor and respect. It has EVERYTHING to do with being in a right relationship with the person you’re dancing with. Maybe that sounds weird, but let me try to explain. Like I told my roommates, I waited my entire life for that dance. Why? Because in that time, I was completely who I was supposed to be. My role was to follow the guy (who was supposed to lead). When we both did what we were supposed to, it was so much more fun dancing. If my first waltz partner had expected me to lead (with neither of us knowing what to do), it wouldn’t have worked at all! No, it wasn’t perfect with him leading, but in a sense it was. We were each as perfectly as possible doing what we were meant to do in that moment. We were brother and sister dancing together, turning and stepping (mostly) in sync. I don’t know how to explain this better. It makes me happy and whole and fully loved. Ok… enough of the girl rant. It’s true though. The whole dance made me want to run home and teach my cousins to dance so that they could lead me through the steps. That is, in one sense, as close as we can get to perfection. A beautiful dance, each person fully being in their role, is… indescribably awesome. I just don’t have the words. =)
Dios te bendiga.