Some time ago T and I took on the arduous task of picking out what would be our first dance song. As two music lovers, this was no easy undertaking, but after hours of arguing in front of iTunes, we settled upon the perfect song. A song that has meaning to both of us, that speaks to our relationship and will probably be forgotten by everyone who attends our wedding while we're still on our honeymoon. After listening to it a few times, we gave each other a look that said, "Sure we can dance to this, let's give it a try." Shoving the coffee table out of the way and turning up the speakers we took our first spin around the apartment.
For the first few measures we kind of stood there, stared at each other and we each did a little Oompa Loompa knee bend. Watching T carefully, since he is the better dancer, I tried unsuccessfully to emulate the up and down bop to the beat. Without saying a word we knew it was time to try and come together and dance like a real couple. Over the next minute I basically let T swing me around the 4' x 4' space we had cleared in the apartment, trying desperately to move my feet in any sort of way that made sense. When the song really picked up he spun me around and I did my best not to fall. Then, subconsciously we both retreated to our old standby dance moves. Mine consists of me throwing my hands straight up in the air and swinging my head back and forth to give whoever's watching a glimpse of how shiny and long it is. T usually begins his snapping his fingers and doing his sexy-back hip swing which looks so good that it draws the attention away from my signature head flail and manages to make me look half decent since I'm dancing with him. By this point I was really excited, so I backed up for a running start, went full steam ahead and yelled, "Dirty Dancing Lift!". T did his best to stop me from taking both of us down as I jumped into his arms, then he settled me back onto solid ground, rubbed his back and said, "Dance Lessons."
So when we hit the milestone mark of one month until the big day, we decided it was time to call up Manhattan's premier wedding dance studio and clean up the Oompa-Loompa-Hair-Flail-Hip-Swing-Try-Not-To-Get-Break-A-Leg-Lift combination we had pieced together. By the time the clock struck six we were safely inside the dance studio with our instructor, A. A is about my size, maybe a year or two older than us and lightyears more poised than either of us will ever hope to be. She put on our song, grabbed one of my hands, placed her other hand firmly around my waist, and threw me around the floor while I laughed, stumbled and said, "Oh no. I can not do this." Next up was T who caught right on and twirled A around like they'd been dancing together for years. Immediately, my competitive side kicked in and steam was all but pouring out of my ears the minute T chimed in to try and help me find the rhythm of the song.
I thought about the time T's dad mopped the dance floor with me at his cousin's wedding and about all of the times I've had to grab onto a wall for balance and just shake my butt while out dancing late night. As these moments flashed through my head, my resolve set in and I put on my serious face. I watched A's feet, hung onto her every word and repeated over and over in my head, "One Two Quick-Quick, One Two Quick-Quick. Before I knew it I had the basics down and had almost managed to move my hips. Almost.
Over the next five days, whenever T walked in the house, I had him practicing with me before he could even take off his coat. Thanks to my stay-at-home status I was also able to practice in front of our bedroom mirror every day, making sure to shut the blinds because I would do so in my pre-wedding, stay-at-home uniform which consists of my new satin Prada d'orsay pumps and my new honeymoon bikini. I like to wear these around the house a) to serve as a reminder to stay away from chocolate/wine/ice cream and b) because I love wearing those effing fabulous shoes and need to break them in for the big day.
After trudging out of the house, sick with a sinus infection and cranky, we arrived at the dance studio last night for lesson # 2 and showed A our stuff. "You HAVE been practicing!" she exclaimed and that was all the validation I needed. Now I have just one week to go to manage that new spin move she taught us without tripping over my own feet or getting flung into our wedding cake. I've let my competitiveness subside and actually listen to T when he offers up his expert advice and I can't tell you how good it felt when he said, "Baby, I actually saw you moving your hips!".
I now have a new appreciation for dancing with the stars and dreams of one day appearing in a Britney video. I'm already signing us up for a post-honeymoon dance class and have the unexplainable urge to tell everyone I come across, "I found rhythm." The truth is, when it's all over and we're back from our honeymoon, fat, happy and having spent two weeks on our asses, I'll probably fall right back into the hair-swing-head-flail and just sit back and let T make me look good. I'll be happy enough just having the memory and the video tape of the day UnPlain Jane danced like 200 people were watching.