The day has come and I have made the time and small financial investment to overcome a dumb phobia that had always made me feel inadequate. I find my Groupon number and head out to the ol Elk’s Club…or what will now be called Rebekah Club. I leave the house for the 7.5 mile shortcut to the old building that used to be the 1917 Elk’s Club in sleepy El Segundo. Even Playa was more well lit and exciting as I dutifully took the new the path that my NAV gives me,. I drive through Playa del Rey, past the lonelydark beach and neighborhood that used to be beautiful homes before LAX and Homeland security closed them off forever. I see a low lit building that looks kind of like a small town kingdom hall. I walk in to a full room of people, most in couples, a few are standing in line, I follow. So I am in line feeling awkward again and a little lonely. Funny when you are this way, you feel like the whole group is staring. Those in line got name badges and an entry ticket. I smiled awkwardly, and followed instructions. All of us were told to congregate on the dance floor to hear Rusty and Giovanni as they gave a pep talk. Surprisingly there was no dance buzz yet, just a lecture starting with a reminder of the season at hand …wash your hands! Don’t sneeze into anything! There is a flu abrew, so dance with caution. There is humor and a serious respect for students. This is going to be fun. OK, here goes.
In a circle, with noticeably more followers than leaders, I notice the faces. We are all different, all smiling, The room is full of different ages, shapes and sizes.
We stand in rows for the bare basics. The leaders step counterclockwise and we meet a new partner every 15 seconds…and move to the right
Triple step triple step, roll, roll…open position, closed…my first turns! I think I do ok if the partner swings me backwards. I need to reverse turn back, not front.
These turns…I lose my step every time…but with repeated practice, I start to get it. My brain is firing up a new set of synapses…there is something more going on mentally and physically. Better yet I feel a different boost, a boost of confidence that makes my smile never quit.
I loosen up a little and try not to stomp
Maybe I am scaring people with the giddy smile on my face. It is almost a look of alarm that they greet me with when we switch partners.
The time is up and we have to wait till next week. Uh, okay, I survived this and it was a lot more fun than I expected. I am convinced that this is a start of a new relationship in getting to know myself. The class is now documented in a photo…this is the second largest class Rusty has ever had here…