It’s been a while since I have been to a dance. I’d like to blame that mostly on fact that I live in the middle of a desert waste land and there’s little opportunity. But my lack of attendance at a dance also has something to do with my lack of dancing ability (See my list titled “I wish I could”).
However, this past Saturday night, I found myself at a community dance. We went as a family to this town of about 300 – 400 people called Oak City. The outdoor dance, with a live band (Lawrence Welk style) was the culmination of “Oak City Days”, their annual celebration.
After we arrived, and before I knew it, I found myself out in the middle of a hundred other people with my cute daughter, Clarissa. We were facing another couple in our “Square” of four couples preparing to do the Quadrille.
So as I stood out there under the stars, without a clue of what I was doing, I thought of my 2 Greats Grandpa, John Smith (Jock). On a full moonlit night back in the summer of 1852, he too stumbled into a square dance, the Cotillion, as the pioneer company he was traveling with showed this Scotsman how to dance American style. In spite of the fact that I was as clumsily as ever, Clarissa showed me a good time as we stumbled through to the end of the dance.
I was so intent on trying to follow the voice of the “caller” that it wasn’t until the dance was over that I thought of the occasional school and church dances I had attended as a teenager. Back then my awkward dancing combined with my paralyzing shyness made me a big klutz with the young ladies. Quickly, I shut out the memory of those poor girls dashing for the bathroom when they saw I finally had gotten up my nerve to ask for a dance. I wonder how Jock fared out on the dance floor? Maybe that’s where I inherited my two left feet.
I watched my younger children as they struggled to “enjoy” themselves at the dance. Besides the intimidating crowds, the Big Band era music wasn’t what they had expected. Mommy (my Beautiful Wife) encouraged our young children to be brave and to go ask someone to dance. I watched as Cory searched the crowds for the right one to ask. First he had a false start. The song was almost over when he was ready to make his move.
Momma was his coach… “Now you will have to wait for the next song… You need to get your nerve up and ask right at the beginning of the song.”
In his reply, Cory’s voice sounded timid to me, but his words had the confidence I would have wished for at any age. “I have my nerve up… It’s just taking me that long to find the right girl to ask.”
Then it happened. Cory was off winding through the towering crowd of mostly adults, like a cat closing in its prey. I have never seen a little girl’s face suddenly turn happier. Those two owned the dance floor for the rest of the night.
I couldn’t be more pleased. If it is hereditary, Cory gets his dancing and ladies skills from his mother. But I’d like to take credit for something, so maybe he gets his good luck from me.