Monday, March 12, 2012

Cha-cha-cha

While our wonderful Kate Collins finishes the last part of writing her manuscript--rewrites, copy edits and even more edits--we are fortunate to have Julie Hyzy, who writes two cozy series, join us for a few weeks. Many of you are probably familiar with her White House Chef series as well as her Manor House Mysteries. We welcome Julie while we await Kate's return. (We do miss our Kate!)

My husband and I are still adjusting to our newly empty nest, and we talk often about stepping out of our comfort zones.

Neither of us is eager to parachute out of a plane or go deep-sea diving in shark-infested waters, so we looked long and hard, and finally (woo-hoo) found a park-district activity that's more our speed.

Ballroom dancing.

Yep. So far, we've learned the Fox Trot and Waltz. We've tried to Rhumba, and we excelled at the Polka. But, hey, we both have Polish in our blood. In our last class we attempted to Tango, a step our teacher told us to approach like a cat snatching at the ground. She told us to be smooth and fluid in our movements. Don't know how catlike we looked, but the Tango sure was fun!

I know you probably think I talked my long-suffering husband into these lessons, but let me set the record straight. These lessons were his idea. He comes from a very dance-y family and I recall one wedding we went to, early on in our dating years, where the entire dance floor was empty except for my husband and his immediate family. They were all doing the Cha-cha like pros. His sister's date turned to me, shaking his head. "Look at them," he said. "The Dancing Hyzys." He wasn't kidding. That date never showed up again. I'm still here...

My husband has always been a far, far, better dancer than me. He's got rhythm, he knows how to move. But at our most recent class, after about a half hour of smooth sailing to a Carlos Santana tune, the teacher introduced a twist on the Cha-cha called the "Chase." My husband froze up. He started over-thinking it, and we kept bouncing into one another. Whenever I mess up (often) he's quick to assure me it's fine and he tells me not to worry. But when he messed up, he got frustrated and kept wanting to try again. Class ended and because he still hadn't mastered the swivel turn, he didn't want to leave. "Just one more try," he said - about fifteen times. They were ready to lock up the place and shut the lights. I had to drag him out with the promise that we'd practice at home before the next lesson.

He's more relaxed about it now, and I'm glad. But I'm secretly gleeful. For the first time in our married life, I *got* the dance steps before he did. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, and trying hard not to gloat.

I enjoy dancing, especially when I think no one is looking. Except for ballet and tap when I was a little thing, this is my first experience with dancing lessons. Have you ever taken any? How did it go?