ROBERTA: My brother- and sister-in-law have never been dancers. But when their oldest daughter announced her engagement, they decided to change that. They began to take group lessons at an Arthur Murray studio, whose instructors briefed them on the basics of the hustle, the waltz, and the foxtrot. When their skills didn't improve to their satisfaction, they switched to another studio and began private lessons. They raved about Laurent Mullen, their new instructor, and the wheels in my mind began to whir.
John and I took 3 dancing lessons before we were married and the nuptials nearly didn't take place as a result. We were a dancing disaster, I told my in-laws' instructor, once I'd persuaded my husband to give it another go.
"What seemed to be the problem?" Laurent inquired (pictured at left.)
"He has no rhythm," I said, pointing to my hubby, "and I'm unable to let him lead."
"Okay," he said to John. "I can't help you once you leave the studio, but while you're in here, you're the boss."
And with that, we signed on for a package of ten lessons and have been dancing ever since. Triple step, triple step, back step, we count as we circle and I twirl to the tune of "Build me up, Buttercup." It's the only song we really shine at, but good for our brains and good for the marriage, we both agree.
How about you, Jungle Reds? Any plans to try something new?
HALLIE: Jerry (my sweet husband) agreed to go to ballroom dancing lessons with me as a birthday present, ACK, two decades ago. Like John and Roberta, Jerry didn't know how to lead and I didn't know how to follow...but we learned. It's (almost) the most fun we have together. We also got back from a trip to Tuscany and learned to make pasta together.
Plans now to try something new? I want to learn to drive a Segway.
RO: Ah..it's always some wedding. We said yes to the dancing lessons for my stepson's wedding. It's hard for me to describe my husband's dancing style without being politically incorrect. It's not quite as bad as Billy Crystal once described his own style ("white man's overbite"...just imagine it..) Our instructor, Peter, was a large man, but very light on his feet. I was reminded of a scene from a Disney movie with hippos in tutus. But I digress. Bruce tried very hard and we did have a few non-spaz moments. Thank goodness everyone we know is either already married or never planning to be. I should add that I was no more talented but better at faking it.
New? Well I just asked DH and he said he'd like to learn Italian. Who knew? Molto bene! Me? Right now I'd like to get better at the things I already do -writing, gardening, baking, weight training, and kayaking
HANK: Oh, we took "dancing lessons" before our wedding. From a video. It was hilarious. Ultra-Fox Trot, or something. We practiced and practiced to the Ella version of Our Love is Here to Stay. It was incredibly intricate and involved, and there were things like "the grapevine" and all kinds of twirls. We were realy good. In the living room. And turns out Jonathan is the dancer of the family. (I insist on leading, too...this seems to be a theme.)
Anyway, wedding day. Band strikes up "it's very clear..." Jonathan is supremely confident. I whisper--"Forget about it! We're not going to do all that, right? NO way." Jonathan holds out his arms, smiling. "We sure are," he says. And we did! Grapevine and all. We stll love to dance.
What new? Ah. I'll go ask.