Thursday, 11 August 2011

The reason for dancing.

Lately I've been noticing how perspective shifts with age.  It seems obvious I know, but I've recently encountered a few things that have really highlighted this point.

One of my nephews recently had his birthday.  He rang me up and we had an interesting conversation for about 20 minutes.  He told me all about his day at school, birthday celebrations and his successes in the swimming pool and on the cross country track.  I spent a lot of the time trying to remember whether it was his eighth birthday or his ninth.  He's a pretty straight talker, so I decided I'd just ask him straight out.  He told me firmly he was now nine years old.  I was impressed and commented that he'd be 10 next year!  Double figures!

His response:  "And soon I'll be 13, Aunty Tanya!"

Wow.  Can you imagine yourself at the age of say, 41, telling people that soon you'll be 45?  Or that you are 41 and 3 quarters?

I remember striving to be older too.  I can't remember when it changed, but sometimes it backfired.  I never told my mother that when I went to see "Grease 2" at the cinema in Toowoomba when I was about 13, a man sat next to me and flirted with me.  He even asked me out on a date.  He claimed to be the drummer with the band Ol 55.  I didn't really know who they were, but I somehow knew that I was too young to be going out on a date with a drummer from a rock band.  Besides, I was there to see the movie and his Mr Musk aftershave was overpowering.  He smelt like a Lifesaver lolly.  To his credit, he backed off when I told him I was 13.  (I was an early bloomer.)  Thus a pattern was established where I usually have a drummer (or some other rock musician) somewhere in my life.

Yesterday afternoon a group of high school students boarded the train.  Three girls and a boy.  they looked to be about 14 years old.  They were talking about school and who was taking ballroom dancing class.  Three of the four confirmed they were going to glide around the floor.  In relation to someone else they noted "he's only taking it to meet girls" and "only the socialites take ballroom".  Some things never change.

(When I was at boarding school, ballroom dancing was offered as an extra curricula activity on a Sunday evening for grade 11 and 12 students.   It was always booked up because it was a way to interact with the opposite sex once a week, even if it was under the instruction of an aged couple clad in brown and the fluorescent lights in the assembly hall.  We wore our school uniforms.  My beau at the time (Jason) was a ballroom dancing champion and we used to continue to dance through the supper break and were the only couple who could do the jazz waltz.  We had nothing to do with the incident involving a Grammar boy dropping the brown clad instructress during the Pride of Erin.  The whole circle came to a halt.  But the music kept on playing.  Goodness only knows what would have happened if it was the speedier Heel and Toe polka!)

It became clear that someone called Dean was taking ballroom dancing this year and this caused one of the girls to blush.

The boy said: "Dean likes you."

One of the girls: "Who's Dean?"

The boy: "The one she likes."

The Girl in Question: "I don't like Dean."

Another girl: "Who's Dean?"

The Girl in Question: "The short stumpy one who's really funny. With the curly hair."

Then the Girl in Question again: "What does Dean think of me?"

The boy: "Hyperactive.  Loud.  A bit all over the place.  We don't really talk about you at all."  Brutal.

I could hear the heart of the Girl in Question breaking from where I sat.  Yes, she'd denied liking Dean, but I could see from her crestfallen face that she actually loved Dean.  She was taking ballroom dancing!  And so was Dean!  The truth is Dean probably loves her too, but hides it from his friends to be cool.

What a great moment it is to discover the freedom of being honest and expressing your true feelings.  Time ticks away and before you know it, the moment has passed.  So now, I declare, I took ballroom dancing to be able to touch and be held by boys (under supervision).  I never really cared about the dancing.


  1. The Baptists, of course, prohibited sex - because it might lead to dancing!

  2. Those Baptists clearly knew what they were talking about!

  3. It's only sex standing up that leads to dancing. Lying down is OK, as long as you are married and don't enjoy it.

  4. What about the old "horizontal folk dance"?