Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may recall that Tom and I were embarking on a series of ballroom dance lessons. We have wrapped up our first five waltz lessons and I’m happy to report that we’re still married.
Walking into the dance studio was a bit scary for both of us. For Tom because he has no faith in his ability to dance. He’s comfortable and accomplished in any sport involving a ball, but he usually likes a beer or a stiff shot before participating in activities involving rhythm and music. For me because I’m bossy and perfectionist. I like to be in charge—Do I hear a collective gasp of surprise?—and in ballroom dance, the man gets to be in charge. All the time. No exceptions. Tolerance is also not my long suit, and I was afraid I’d get impatient with Tom if he didn’t pick the moves up as quickly as I did.
Despite both our misgivings, the experience was positive for us as a couple. I did indeed have to bite my tongue frequently, and accept that we weren’t going to make quick progress because Tom lacks natural aptitude for ballroom dance. No getting around it. However, he was determined and he put in a lot of work and by the end of the five weeks, we were moving around the room, doing turns, and keeping time with the music. I found myself appreciating his efforts so much that it was easier to be kind and gentle (rather than snappy and impatient). We both enjoyed the time alone as a couple (no kids), and doing something that was ours instead of mine or his. I think the dancing brought us closer together, made us more intimate, because we were working on something that required commitment and involvement from both of us equally (something apart from parenting which, let’s face it, can drive wedges between a couple as often as bring them closer together).
We plan to take more lessons as soon as we get to a month where we’re both in town long enough to make it pay off. (The lessons build on one another at the studio we go to, with a different dance each month, so if you’re going to be gone for two or more weeks in a month, it doesn’t pay to sign up.) We’re aiming for July.
In the meantime, we’ll try to carve out time to video our progress for you. We’re both glad we had the courage to try something new, to get outside our comfort zones and take up ballroom dancing. I’m kind of looking around for more ideas of couples’ activities/sports we could take a stab at. Any ideas?