Learning to dance backwards


I’m learning to dance backwards again. It’s been quite an experience, too. I’ve been fairly open about my past but in case you missed it, for almost a decade my primary partner was a woman. When we danced together I was the one who led. Poorly I might add. But somehow I managed to keep her out of walls and the backs of other dancers. And as much as I love pulling the chick card with Dr. Doctor I’ve had a hell of a time letting him lead a dance.


He’s a beautiful dancer, very capable, graceful, and has a great sense of rhythm. What I lack in those skills I make up in enthusiasm. I love to dance. I’m prone to dancing just about anywhere, too. Sephora, Macy’s, Target…If the tune is right I’ll dance. (My public dance moves were threats issued to young boys who were whining in Target. It worked, too. They stopped before I could bust a move. ) But some reason this whole let-someone-else-move-me-to- music is a little difficult for me.


The first time we danced was in April we did very well together. I was completely relaxed going backwards and having him decide for me where I was moving. That night was a big deal, it was the first time I had danced since the night before my accident and I was still stiff and tentative. But in his arms I felt protected against twisting my spine. We danced as if we had been dancing together for years. It was the compelling reason I was smitten. If we danced this well together as strangers what would the dance be like as friends or maybe lovers?


But the next time we danced? Oh my God I was a clumsy stumbling mess. I’m surprised he would be seen with me again on a dance floor. So very nervous. Good thing that kiss was the best first kiss I’ve had in 40 years of first kisses.


We’ve been out dancing a couple of times since that first date and slowly we’re getting better. That is…I’m getting better at walking backwards and letting him lead.   When we waltz it’s a thing of beauty but sometimes hilarity ensues. He’s pretty funny about it too: “I don’t know what you’re dancing to sweetie but it’s not this song . . .” or “Last time I looked I was leading this dance . . .” Thank goodness he is good-natured because I am a perfectionist and just want to get it PERFECT every time. When I stumble over his feet or try to take over I get nervous and then I really can’t dance.


He’s really teaching me it’s ok to stumble and to relax and nevermind a  misstep which goes along with his dancing advice:


“Don’t look down. Look at me.”


Funny, when we dance and my eyes are directed as they should be on his right cheek or his eyes I don’t stumble. He pointed this out and added that while he was leading I was directing the dance. Huh? That’s impossible and I don’t understand what he means by this. I think we need more practice so I can figure out that piece of the dance puzzle.





About Laura

When my nest emptied I moved from the big city to a little big town to tend to a ramshackle yellow house on the edge of town. These are my Yellow House Days.
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6 Responses to Learning to dance backwards

  1. This makes me giggle as I have been staring at a “learn to ballroom dance” flyer on my fridge for almost a year. I commend you for stepping out (and on some toes, I’m sure) and expanding your dancing adventure. Dance on!!


  2. I thought this was so funny! I use to threaten to sing when mine were little it always shut them right up! You’ll get the hang of it, just tell him you need lots and lots of practice!


  3. Patti says:

    Mom would have told you to make the stumble part of the dance!


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