Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dare to Dance!

One of the primary reasons I have enjoyed learning ballroom dancing over the past 2 years is the fact that the lessons are kept very entertaining thanks to the (unintentional) efforts of the head instructor. I'm going to call him Line Man based on how he's always going on and on about the "line of dance" and about the angles and lines in each of the dance steps.

Line Man is passionate about dancing - that much is evident. Sometimes though, he gets too caught up in the drama and passion of the dancing atmosphere and forgets that he's in a classroom. This results in him using some rather interesting terms and analogies to explain or break down the steps to the students.

Like yesterday for example at the Level 1 class where I am a teaching assistant. We were teaching them the very basics of the Tango which requires a rather close contact between the partners in order for the dance steps to be executed well. In many cases where the students are not a couple, getting them to attempt that level of closeness is challenging. This level 1 class was particularly timid. Even the couples in the class seemed adverse to the close contact of the dance and the results were shaky at best. I tried everything to get them to relax and loosen up, but even my best quirky one liners were being met with stony silence and I was beginning to have that distinct "Is this mic on?" feeling. Even Line Man seemed to be giving up, and in a final attempt to salvage some of the class he instructed everyone to just dance around the room using the steps that they'd just learned. He gave them one last piece of advice. This is the most manly of ballroom dances guys. Just push into her. Dare to go right between her legs.

There was a split second of pin drop silence, and then with one accord the entire class burst out into hysterical laughter. I am happy to report that most of them did follow the advice, and were able to execute the steps quite well for a "virgin" tango dancer!

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