Backtrack: My First Encounter with a Hardwood Floor


So, I’ve told you about my very first dance class, ever.  But, if you’ll remember, that summer after that class I took my very first ballroom classes at an Arthur Murray studio.  Let me tell you, it was amazing, interesting, and embarrassing all at once.

Before I get into story-teller mode, I need to give some background.  My family was in Colorado, where I lived for three years before moving to the South, for the whole summer.  We ended up staying in a hotel for most of the time, which got old quite fast.  Luckily, I’d talked my Mom’s ear off about ballroom dance lessons, and she hooked me up at a local Arthur Murray studio in Denver.

My lesson was an early afternoon lesson, but I had already been pretty physically active that day.  I had gone running that morning with my mother, and I was quite sweaty.  (For the record, I am a former runner, but I only ran because I made myself do it.  Yeah, I hated running.  Then, dance came along and fulfilled my aerobic needs.)  Since this was my first official ballroom lesson, I didn’t have anything besides the clothes I was currently wearing.  When I walked through the door of the studio, I was garbed in my green running shoes, shorts, and shirt that I got nice and sweaty in.  Looking back, it’s slightly embarrassing.  Here’s a tip for the ladies:  Wear heeled shoes to practice.  They are the ballroom shoes.  As for me, I didn’t own any heels because I thought they were way too girly.  But, running shoes worked well enough.  It’s not like they were flip-flops, and liable to fly off my feet (Yes, I have seen newbies do their lessons in flip-flops…).

My teacher’s name was Isaac, and I developed an unseemly attraction to him right away.  Stupid puberty hormones!  It didn’t help that he was already married either.  Now, I finally knew what my friends were talking about when they told me about their teacher crushes.  Ugh.  That, friends, is the most embarrassing thing of all.  As I said in my last post, my origins and passionate love for this hobby arose from passionate puberty hormones.  How dignified and subliminal.  Awkward anecdotes aside, the first very first dance I learned was the Foxtrot, which has to be the easiest for beginners, in my opinions.  I also worked on ECS (East Coast Swing), some Cha-cha, and my then-favorite, Salsa.  Isaac turned out to be Mr. Popular and I was constantly shuffled from teacher to teacher, which didn’t bother me too much, but I’d be lying if I told you that I’d rather have been dancing with my original teacher.  Group classes were big, really big.  At my current studio, at the most, we have ten people in attendance.  At this one, there were probably about twenty to thirty every time I went.  We formed a huge rectangle, and we simply shifted partners around it.  Group class was also where I had my first exposure to the Rumba, also known as the most awkward dance ever.  I think my cheeks and tips of my ears were pink every time I had to dance it.  I even felt like the rhythm explanation was off:  Boom, chikca-chicka, Boom.  Apparently that was just their way of saying slow, quick-quick, slow.

Sure it was embarrassing, but it was over way too soon for me.  Before I knew it, I was driving away from that studio for the last time because summer was almost over.  I even cried a bit as I forced myself not to look back.  As it turns out, I’d be back at Arthur Murray during the beginning of my senior year.  That is where I stayed.  That is where the story is still being written.

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