Thursday, March 14, 2002

The date is March 14, the time is 1816 Zulu, and I have just returned from the last Social Dance II class of the quarter. We spent the morning waltzing, swinging, two-stepping, foxtrotting, and hustling. I didn't dance with all of my favorite partners but I danced with quite a few. I had a very cool hustle experience with Thomasina, when I tried to imitate something I saw Alanna doing and ended up doing windows\\face-turns in hustle. The footwork didn't quite work for me but it did for her, and she thought it was way cool. I'll have to figure out how to do that with my own footwork so it works. And I got to dance with Thalassa, which was charming as always. I wish the Alaskan had been there, but oh well. And, after two quarters, I finally had a dance with Miss Lodge that didn't involve her cringing. I really like hustle and club two-step, and I'm interested in porting over some of the figures from there into swing. I'll bet I could figure out a way to do it.

Ah, but the final dance of the morning ... oh my yes, that last waltz. I danced it with Blue Rose, who is a very good waltz partner. I do forget sometimes that she prefers a different frame than most of my other partners (I suppose, even though nobody's complained, that I should try her frame out on other girls and see if they like it better). The music was good, and the waltzing was pretty good - not the best dance I've ever given a girl but pretty smooth. So why am I filled with a honey-sweet heart contentment?

She closed her eyes.

Allow me to elaborate. In a waltz that works, closing your eyes brings an already soaring experience to a whole new level. I've felt a little bit of it in a waltz that didn't work, so I can only imagine what it must be like for one that does. It also commits yourself to dance entirely by feel, which is implicitly saying that your partner is good enough to lead by feel. Of course that means that you as a couple only have one pair of eyes (the follow's) scanning the room, and the follow can't do anything to save herself from collision. So for a follow to close her eyes in a waltz is pretty much the supreme compliment you can give your partner. It is not one that I have ever been given before, even on dance floors that were mostly empty. I have harbored a secret hope, which I have shared with no one, that this quarter I would be good enough to be counted worthy of that supreme compliment. I haven't breathed a word of that to anyone; Rose couldn't possibly have known. So I will say again:

She closed her eyes.

And that fills my heart with a deep-seated contentment, puts a faint knowing smile on my lips, and sends me soaring into a bright and wonderful day.

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