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The Waltz

Up until this point, I had never thought I would have the chance to waltz outside of the classroom. Nor did I think I would ever be any good at it. While learning the dance, my partner had been enthusiastic, but off beat, and it was hard to learn to do the dance properly. At that time, doing too many spins and coming back dizzy and off beat had been fun, but now my heart raced and I wished I knew my steps better. Every time I spoke I was afraid I would forget what I was doing and mess up.

I had been just sitting there, taking a break after doing 2 boisterous contra dances with my friend, when the band started playing the waltz. I sat forward on the bench, wishing I had someone to share the dance with. I swung my bare feet looking around, and watching couples, young and old start to take the floor. Half an hour to a new year, it was the last dance of the night and my last chance to dance with someone new.

That was when he stepped in front of me and asked me if I would like to waltz with him. He was tall, and in my sitting position, he towered over me even more. I had met him just that evening, he was my "corner" during one of the square dances. He seemed nice, and from what I had seen I knew he could dance very well. His kind smile, his height, and just something about his eyes reminded me very much of someone I had known and liked. I smiled and nodded and joined him on the dance floor.

Our right hands joined, my left hand went to his shoulder, his, my back. He was warm, no doubt due to all the dancing earlier, and to me, he smelled good, male, warm. I felt as if I were almost drunk on the fumes I was so giddy. I looked up at him, I was nervous, but hopeful. We tried to start dancing, but I couldn't get into the rhythm of it at first. I was embarrassed and made the excuse "I'm terrible at the waltz. I haven't done it in a long time." He reassured me, I don't recall the exact words, but we finally got in synch, and off we went, in a slow easy swish around the dance floor.

We conversed a bit, me concentrating a little harder on keeping moving while trying to keep up a somewhat witty or interesting banter. He asked if I attended dances there often, and I dearly wished I could answer yes. I would have loved to dance with him more. Perhaps sometime I can, even if I have to wait till next year. We chatted a bit more, and the dance moved more easily now. He swung me out in a twirl, and smiled at me, “See, you’ve got the hang of it now!”

We danced more, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. We weaved easily in and out among the other couples. I couldn’t have described any of them if my life depended on it, I was too absorbed in the moment we were sharing. He twirled me out again, then twirled himself and came back. “Snazzy,” I commented, and he smiled at me “No fair that the girls should have all the fun!” I laughed and we kept dancing.

I almost wished the dance wouldn’t stop, but my feet protested that idea. We bantered, and swung about, but the dance finally wound down. Remembering what he said, I swung him out in a twirl at the end, a wide smile on my face, and an appreciative grin on his. We stood there a few moments, trying to hang on to the moment, talking a little, but finally, the magic was broken, by my friend barreling headlong at me from across the room. He smiled and wandered off, and I wished I could have thought of something witty to say, or something to keep him interested. I don’t even know his last name. I don’t know if I’ll ever even see him again.

I think we both tried to linger in the dance hall, but, with midnight approaching he left. At long last, I had to leave as well, and we headed towards the main square where the festivities were occurring. Part of me hoped I’d spot him, and maybe we’d have another chance to find a way to keep in touch. But no such luck. We trudged up the hill to the waiting truck, and started the ride home to where we could finally rest. I kept grinning the whole way home. To be picked out of a crowd is always a confidence booster.

That’s when I made my New Year’s Resolution. I decided I wanted to live beautifully. To act as if the image of myself I hold inside is always true. To always assume I am beautiful. And to live more healthily to make sure I feel good too. It won’t be huge changes, like swearing to go to the gym every day, but small things. Like remembering to dance every day, especially when I don’t feel like it. To smile, to laugh, and walk tall. To try and eat more vegetables, and less junk, even if I don’t swear off junk entirely. I plan to buy myself a twirly skirt and a Celtic CD so I can dance and spin whenever I want to. I wish I could thank him for this revelation, but perhaps, if I keep this up, by next year, I will be a glowing beautiful persona, and we can have another dance, and that’s when I’ll thank him. Or maybe I’ll just smile at him, and enjoy another moment in time.

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