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Shall We Dance?

Albert recently posted a Flickr set of photos of dancers at the Five Spot. I threw my back out just looking at these pictures, but it also brought back some memories of my occasional visits there.

For a long time I had wanted to learn how to dance, but being painfully shy and physically awkward, I had never so much as set foot on a dance floor (although I was tricked once into dancing a polka at my brother's wedding). With no experience I knew I needed professional help. Psychologically at least I was ready. I had reached a stage in my life where I didn't mind looking completely foolish in front of women. (That only took like about 25 years.) A musician friend who is a semi-pro swing dancer suggested Arthur Murray. I studied there for about two years and made achingly slow progress. Eventually I felt confident enough to start branching out, going wherever “beginner” classes were offered at a number of clubs, including of course the Five Spot. Eventually, however, I drifted away from dancing.

Once I met Anne, the subject of dancing came up. She had never danced much, but was interested in learning, but being a low priority for both of us, it was back-burnered. Then friends of ours invited us to join a small dance class near Princeton. While Princeton is not exactly around the corner, this opportunity landed in our lap, so we decided to try it. Last night was our first class, and it went very well. Unfortunately, it was the last class for the season, but we plan to rejoin in the fall.

By the way, I haven't seen the remake of “Shall We Dance?”, but I sure enjoyed the Japanese original. I recommend seeking it out.

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