Christmas Ball 2008

I went to my dance teachers’ Christmas Ball last night. It was good fun, if a little low in numbers due to illness. It seems everyone, but everyone, has a bad cold. I’ve actually been surrounded by victims all week, and was really hoping I’d make it to Saturday night without infection. I did, and happily so did my new dance partner.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my new partner yet. We’ve been dancing together for a few months now, and it’s most exciting. My previous partner was a friend who I’d been with for three years, but whose life took unexpected and happy turns earlier this year, and I’ve been without a regular partner since. Then my teacher put me in touch with someone in a similar predicament, and we met a couple of months ago. I was nervous as, but thankfully she’s very nice, and – even better – we seemed to suit each other as a dancing couple. So we soon started private lessons.

I’m really happy about this as I’ve been plateauing for ages, and I was starting to wonder if I’d reached my limit. But I feel I’m already gaining lots from the private tuition, and it’s a huge incentive to improve when your partner is better than you. And she really is better at everything. Particularly the samba, which I thought I could do, but which I now realise was a delusion of enormous magnitude.

It’s been a fun couple of months. I have, in this time, only twice tripped over my own foot. I’ve done this maybe once before – you know, ever – and there’s really no dignified way out of it. I am now mocked mercilessly, which is how things should be.

Last night was our first ‘proper’ dance since we’ve gotten used to each other, and it was Good Times all round. Well, apart from the moment 2/3 of the way through the Mayfair Quickstep when I realised it wasn’t a Mayfair Quickstep, which explained why the other two couples on the floor were dancing something else. I decided to stick it out, attempting to pull off an air of knowing-something-you-don’t. But probably didn’t.

But by far the most entertaining moment came late in the evening, when I requested a Viennese Waltz. The Viennese Waltz, quite frankly, hurts. It’s very fast, very spinny, and always a challenge to complete without going wrong or running out of energy. But we did. I was most chuffed, if exhausted, and we actually got a round of applause. Then my teacher, being evil, started playing another one. Quite honestly I didn’t know whether I’d cope, but we tried anyway, and again got through the whole song. My partner was out of breath but ok. I was half dead. I think this is because I am the man and must therefore lead, and as a result work much, much harder. Others, most of them women, disagree. If they only knew how tough we men have it.