So, to continue my story from last night...
We arrived at the church, dance shoes in hand, and stepped into a beautiful fellowship hall that seemed just made for dancing! A nice smooth floor, beautiful woodwork ceilings, little cafe tables in the corner, and a disco ball all complemented the ballroom atmosphere.
We joined a group of people in the center of the floor just in time for the instructor to begin her lesson. This is the point at which everything began to fall apart. To spare you the gory details, let's just say that when you hire a dance teacher at the recommendation of a senior center (who as we found out later, usually only teaches private lessons and never in groups), and you hire a DJ that uses MIX TAPES(!), well, you're gonna face some challenges. Like, half the people may leave.
Fortunately Gary and I are not such party poopers, and we had a ton of fun just being there. The small crowd made it easy to get to know everyone: there was a group of Christian high school kids (cute as could be), a sweet German lady (she was 66 yrs old but looked 50!), a nice blonde with a husband from Africa (still kicking myself that I didn't get to chat more with them), the pastor of the church, her husband (yes, that's right), and a gaggle of church grannies (I SO would have taken Thelma home with me!).
It's strange... In many social situations I can feel really awkward. I usually dread having to make small talk. But last night, my hidden extrovert unexpectedly popped out of hibernation, and I just had a blast going around and meeting everyone (why oh why can't I do this on command???)!
At one point the DJ accidentally played a song that was west-coast swing-able (I think it was supposed to be a cha-cha), so Gary and I took the opportunity to dance our favorite dance. (West Coast Swing also happens to be the official state dance of California, FYI) Immediately, the entire ballroom stopped to watch us. It was crazy! Though I felt very flattered by the attention, I was somewhat conflicted - I wanted to do my best for them, since they were taking the time to watch me, but I didn't want to be a "show-off"! (hmm, that was an internal struggle I didn't consider when I was a competition dancer in college!)
Anyways, all that to say that even though we may not have been at the hippest nightspot in the East Bay, Gary and I had more fun than we've had in a long time. Yeah, I'm out of shape and my moves are totally rusty. I don't have the energy to dance every single song. But, I made some new friends. I got some good exercise (swing dancing totally beats the treadmill). And Gary and I got to revisit a part of our relationship that we'd almost forgotten about. So was it worth it? Yeah.
I think I'll be back.