I went country-western dancing again last Sunday evening with a group of young savvy senior singles. Sundays are when the older set goes dancing, you know. It’s fun watching the old folks get out on the dance floor especially since they haven’t gotten the message that they’re old yet. Women still dress to please men at the dance club. One woman caught my eye as she colorfully two-stepped across the dance floor in her tight sequined pants and shimmering turquoise top. She looked good and she knew it. Another gal, an escapee from the Red Hat Society, stood out about the sea of heads with her red wide-brimmed cowboy hat.
It’s easy to identify the couples who have spent a lifetime together. They move as one on the dance floor. It was hard not to secretly sigh as I watched them, wishing I’d been able to have a lifetime of dancing with my loved one. I also wondered why I was there, especially since I’m not that good a dancer. Still, I accepted every request to dance, even being silly enough to get out there and do the twist. (My hip wasn’t too happy with me about that one the next few days.) But when I started getting out of breath, had to use my inhaler, and realized I couldn’t follow most of the gentlemen I was dancing with, I told myself that this is something I shouldn’t be doing again.
But two images from that night remain in my mind taunting this decision: An old man, back hunched and feet shuffling to a nearby table, asked a young woman to dance. She graciously accepted. His lined face broke into a wide smile and while his back remained rounded; his feet became alive when they hit the dance floor. A dance turned into an instant shot of youthfulness with little side effects. I saw another scene that made my heart warm, a woman obviously in her 80’s beaming as a young cowboy gently two-stepped her across the dance floor. When the dance was over, she leaned against him for support on their way back to her table, her face flushed with joy and youth. She now had a story to tell and something to dream about again.
Maybe if I take some dance lessons….