That’s one of my favorite quotes. My youngest daughter even sent me a sign with that saying and it hangs in my kitchen. They are definitely words to live by…but last night, the “dance as if no one were watching” part of the quote was totally put to the test.
I met a friend last night in North Dallas at a hotel..no, it’s not what you are thinking…he is part of a singles group that had been invited to an event planners evening mixer. It was a way for vendors to show off their catering services, their DJ services, an oxygen bar–which really made me laugh, and a variety of other options. The admission price was an unwrapped child’s toy.
I had visions of an elaborate party set up and struggled even with Jack my GPS to find the hotel. Probably because I am looking for one of the large luxury hotels downtown. This place was probably a step below the Holiday Inn Express. There weren’t many cars in the parking lot, and that should have been a sign of the evening ahead.
I signed in, donated my gift and made my way into the *vendor* area. It was a very small room, with a bar set up for wine tasting, a huge coffee making monstrosity in the corner and 4 tables set up with catering companies. In the middle of the room was a smallish dance floor. Even by cornfields standards, this room would have been too small to host a wedding reception. I put on my biggest smile and walked across the room to my friend.
It was one of those nights that it was a VERY good idea that I just drank non-alcoholic pina coladas for the pina colada machine. Even sober, I did not have enough of a filter system to keep myself in check. My visions of a glamourous holiday evening faded, but when the disc jockey began playing, I could no longer behave.
A lone couple made their way to the dance floor. They were definitely dressed in their holiday glitz and glam. He was dressed in black from head to toe, she was wearing a black dress with white trim. He was tall and slender, she was shorter and not quite so slender, but seemed confident in herself. I thought we were in for a treat, maybe they were part of the entertainment. Oh, they were all right, but not in the way one might think.
It was clear, that when the heavens were handing out rhythm genes, these two must have been in the bathroom or something. They managed to give new meaning to the term white people can’t dance. At first, I sat there politely smiling but laughing so hard on the inside I was crying. The dance moves consisted of a combination Fred Astaire mating with Beyonce and dropping him on his head at the first dance lesson. I’m sorry, I know I can be cruel, but I really need to give you a picture of what I was watching. I kept thinking I am so glad I am here among strangers, because if just one of my friends were here I would be under that table doing that laugh where you laugh so hard no sound comes out?
When my dinner partner leaned across the table and whispered aren’t they great? I could no longer hold back the laughter. We had a ring side seat the entire evening to the smooth moves of this couple. They didn’t miss a dance, and even with their level of skill, he could not master the group dances like the Curly Shuffle, the Electric Slide and the Cha Cha Shuffle. You kinda need to know your right from your left and be able to keep the beat for those..
I sat in my chair dancing like the girl in Footloose who is there with the big hunky farmer who doesn’t dance. It was all I could do to just sit there and watch…finally someone came over, took my hand and said, “You know you haven’t danced once, would you like to dance with me?”
You know me…I said, “Hell yes!” and jumped on the dance floor. I figured I could not be any worse than Fred and Ginger. From that point on I was up and dancing every song…the music was mostly from my era, but I found myself longing for the music that I seem to be dancing to today.
…and you knew it was bound to happen…
I guess I caught the attention of Mr. Fred. He came to our table and asked to sit down. There are really levels of behavior that one probably should observe in these types of situations. Yeah, not so much with me. He sat down, and I really really was trying one, not to laugh, and two not to say anything inappropriate–stop laughing it could happen.
My friend was determined not to let that happen.
“She really likes the way you dance.”
He proudly declared, “My mom taught me to dance.”
I had two options here, the angel on my right shoulder was telling me to stuff the tablecloth in my mouth and keep quiet. The devil on my right side won out.
“Your mother taught you to dance? I can tell.” ( I swear I said it with the sweetest Ann smile on my face.)
“Yes, she told me if I could dance, woman would be all over me.”
A pause here for a comment to the Universe, please please please don’t put me in social situations and feed me lines like that to react to.
Once again a nudge from my “friend” who shall remain nameless, and who is going to pay for this in the very near future.
“She would really like to dance with you.”
I knew I should have worn some sort of pointy toed shoes, he needed a swift hard kick to the shins.
Once again, I smiled demurely, “Really, I’m quite shy, I don’t think I could keep up with you.” (Mostly because I have a left and a RIGHT foot and I have a small sense of rhythm, I am a white girl after all.)
I looked across the table at Celeste my new best friend for the night and leaned my head toward the dance floor, she nodded and we were out there shakin’ our groove things.
You know Fred could not just sit there, he was on the floor trying to dance with the two of us and I actually threw back my head and laughed as I was no longer witnessing the spectacle, but found myself smack dab in the middle of it all.
When he leaned over to me and said, “My sister really isn’t a very good dancer.” I totally lost it and could not stop laughing. His date for the evening was his sister. The next time they danced I looked at them closely and did see the family resemblance, then it just became creepy. Dancing with one’s sister that way is NOT ok.
The highlight of the evening was an appearance by President Obama, he no doubt heard about this gala event and flew into Dallas. Of course he wanted his picture taken witn me, how could I say no to that? Even the Obama impersonator was doing video of the dancing king, yes, he was that good!
I can’t say it was the most enchanting evening I have had since moving to Dallas, but it makes for yet another great story to tell about my Dallas adventures.
This night is going to make me giggle for a very very long time.