Saturday, November 5, 2016
Day 5: Dancing in my dreams
It's Saturday night. I'm posting this video simply because it makes me happy. Also this is some amazing dancing! I've lamented all my life (which means I should have given up a long time ago) that most men no longer learn to dance with a partner.
My parents went out dancing to live bands with their friends all the time at small halls around southwest Iowa. All of my dad's friends could at least do the 2-step. Most of them could waltz and jitterbug and do other dances too. I loved dancing with them, but most of all I loved dancing with my dad, the few times I actually got to. When I was little sometimes he would let me stand on his feet, and then he'd dance around the room. And then when I was older and had moved out, a couple of times when I was home for a visit I went out with my parents, and I got to dance with my dad and his friends, men of his generation. We didn't always get along very well, but something about dancing with my dad made me feel like I was accepted as one of the grownups. I would give a lot for one more turn around the dance floor at the VFW in Fontanelle, Iowa, with him, but he died many years ago at age 46, with the promise of many dances left unfulfilled.
I always thought I would get together with my friends and go to dances and dance like that when I grew up. I'm not sure why. The guys my age never learned in high school, so why would they know how to dance as adults? The manly skill of leading a woman around a dance floor died with the men of my dad's generation, with only a few exceptions, and the men of my generation didn't bother to learn. Oh, we danced a lot, but not together with steps and leading and dips and all that. In high school my best friend Carmelita and I taught ourselves out to jitterbug, but we had to dance with each other, because none of the boys could do it and they wouldn't learn. Pathetic.
I did dance with a few guys who were quite good during the disco era when I was a bartender. Don't laugh. It was so much fun. But it didn't last long, and then punk killed dancing.
Now when I go out dancing, mostly we go out on the floor in a group, and usually it's just women dancing beside each other. It's fun. I love it. But it's not the same as dancing with someone, steps synced to the music and to each other, bodies pressed together, feeling the beat as one. It requires a level of trust and letting go and being willing to let someone else lead. Or being willing to lead, which is also hard. It's exhilarating and sexy and I wish I'd been able to do more of it in my life.
In fact, if I were to ever start dating, I'd make a list of what I'm looking for in a man and dancing would be on that list. I mean he'd have to know how to lead and he'd have to be tall enough to turn me, even if I'm wearing heels. Hell, if I'm going to dream, might as well dream big and probably impossible, right? In fact, I think I'll just wait for John Travolta to realize I'm the woman of his dreams and ... well, nevermind. It's time for bed. Maybe I'll dance in my dreams tonight.