Dance like nobody’s watching

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that I’m not comfortable dancing. That’s exactly why last year, for my wife’s birthday, I signed us up for dance classes. The gift was not me learning to dance, it was my willingness to put up with the humiliation of taking dance classes.

We made it through four of the five classes before my wife mercifully pulled the plug. She appreciated the gesture, but it was clear that one more class wasn’t going to make a dancer out of me–and in fact might have jeopardized our marriage.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it when others dance. I do! For instance, a couple of mornings ago, after cramming myself into a downtown train, I saw a woman dancing in the crowd. She raised her arms above her head and wiggled, did a little bit of rhythmical clapping, then went back to reading the ragged book she held on one of her hands. Good for her!

I normally wouldn’t have paid much attention to her, but she kept repeating her little routine–that, and she was wearing a surgical mask. I figured she must have had a cold, yet it didn’t stop her when a song she liked came on her playlist. I applauded her lack of self-consciousness.

For the rest of my commute I watched this masked woman as she went from reading to dancing and back to reading. What was she listening to that moved her so? R&B? Hip Hop? Disco?

It wasn’t until I got to my stop and walked past her that I saw she wasn’t wearing any headphones. Now I wonder what book she was reading.

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