Say What? Part IV: Leave Your Dignity at the Door


Any hobbyist will tell that it’s only a matter of time.  When I rode horses, my instructor told me that I would fall off a horse someday, and I’d have to get right back up.  Well, yours truly is here to tell you this: It’s only a matter of time before you embarrass yourself.  So, because I’m such a nice person ;), I’m going to share with you some of my embarrassing moments, among other amusing things.

Embarrassment #1: Ticklish Teacher

Tango is a favorite of mine.  It wasn’t always like that.  It probably brought out the worst in me, dance-wise.  In a horrendous effort to prevent my teacher from dancing on my feet, I ended up back-leading.  Posture was also an issue.  Of course, the worst part about learning to tango had to be the unusual hold.  Normally, the woman’s arm goes on his bicep.  In American Tango, the woman’s left hand hooks under the man’s arm so there can be a more cohesive elbow connection.  I was dancing with my former DP, and another teacher, his wife, was assisting for a bit.  Now, this hold just scared me.  I was trying to get over my fear of physical contact, and the prospect of practically sticking my hand in his armpit silently horrified me.  So, I made a half-hazard effort to stick my hand under his arm.  It wasn’t correct, so his wife decided to force my hand to be nearer to his armpit in order to get a better connection.  I’m inwardly blushing, when he goes, “Heh, heh.  That tickles!”  Whether it actually tickled him, or he was just teasing me I don’t know.  What I do know is that it took all the gumption I had not to lose it.

Embarrassment #2: Embrace the Femininity!

I actually didn’t think about this one until I read Stef’s post about a similar subject.  Rumba has always been intriguing to me.  When I watched “Dancing with the Stars”, it was one of my favorite dances because I enjoyed the sensuality and the acting.  It never occurred to me until I actually started learning that I was going to dance the Rumba.  I must have blocked it out.  When it came to the sensual, I was very shy and conservative.  I didn’t want to have act sexy with my teacher, especially since my first two were married.  It was just awkward.  Fast-forward to my current studio, Victor was trying to get me to get into the basics of Cuban motion, which were still pretty new to me.  That, and I was still embarrassed about being sexy.  We began to dance, and I moved my hips as best I could.  Turns out, I was doing it correctly because he exclaimed, “Hot!  Hot!  Hot!”  My cheeks were definitely tinted pink, but he didn’t notice.

Embarrassment #3: My “Engagement”

I wear a diamond ring on the ring-finger of my left hand.  No, I am not married.  It’s a purity ring.  My dad gave it to me shortly after my sixteenth birthday.  I always wear it.  I just never thought that it would cause people to actually think I was married.  This is coming from a person who got carted around as younger than her actual age.  For example, I was checking out a college over spring break my junior year of high school.  My mom went with me since it was out-of-state:

[at the Admissions desk]

Mom: Excuse me.  We were supposed to have a meeting with So-and-so, can you kindly direct me to his office?

Admissions Lady: *Gives me skeptical look, then turns back to Mom* How old is she?

Me (pipes up): I’m eighteen.

AL: Oh, I see.  Very well…

Apparently, I looked like I was fourteen.  She didn’t believe that I was old enough to be checking out colleges.  Given this, it’s even more awkward when I’m mistaken to be older than my actual age–and married too!  I was dancing with this one gentleman in group class when he complimented my dancing.

Gentleman: You are a very good dancer.

Me: Thank you.

Gentleman: You should bring your husband with you to classes.

Me: My husband? *Realizes the ring* Oh, I’m not married.  I’m still in high school.

Gentleman: …

I don’t know who was more embarrassed. Him, for making the error, or me for getting mistaken for a married woman when I wasn’t really thinking of marriage at all.  Then, we come to DP.  Now, I’ve already said he’s a giant goofball with all his jokes on my “ambiguous” ethnicity.  However, some of his jokes make me blush.  I remember when I came into the studio one day…

Nick: *fake astonishment (obviously)* Alaina, I didn’t know you were engaged?!

Me: Nick, you know I’m not married.  I’m still in school and living with my parents.

Nick: *blatantly ignores statement* Who’s the lucky guy? (In retrospect, I thought it was sweet that he called the guy lucky considering I’ve not always been as friendly as I am today.)

Me: (starting to get embarrassed) No one.

At this point, he calls in a female teacher, and she play along with him.

Female Teacher: I didn’t know you were getting married?

Me: I’m not getting married!

FT: Who’s the guy?

At this point, I walked into the dance room itself to get away from it all.  Nick doesn’t know it, but he’s an excellent actor.  I knew he was teasing me, but he still made me blush.  Oh, but it doesn’t end there.  When we actually got into our lesson he was preparing me from my Foxtrot demonstration I was going to do at our 50’s themed social.  I had a fedora I bought in my car, so I brought it in.  He was at the stereo system when I brought the hat in.  He goes, “So, Alaina, when are you getting married?”  I decided to suck it up, play along, and surprise him.  I chucked my hat at him.  Unfortunately, my aim was a little to low, and it knocked over a cup of water that was sitting on a desk of CD’s.  Long story short, water all over the CD’s, me blushing more than ever, and Nick apologizing for provoking me.  The only thought I had then was, “Boy, am I glad Mom isn’t here.”

There it you have it.  My three embarrassing moments from ballroom.  Dancing may look glamorous, but it’s not really all that dignified.  Between the sweat, embarrassing moments, and throbbing extremities, it’s a lot of work.  It’s worth it, but I’d hardly call it glamorous.  Leave your dignity at the door, people. 😉

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