Friday, November 5, 2010

The first part of Chapter 4...

Chapter 4

 As he approached the dance studio, he glanced at his watch.  He had made it with five minutes to spare.  He pulled open the door, hearing the familiar chimes from the bells tied to the top of the door.  Angie was there finishing a ballet class with a bunch of young girls. The girls in the class could not be more than twelve or thirteen years old, but they were dancing with a grace usually only seen in women much older.  As the class ended, the girls all bowed in a curtsy and applauded their teacher who curtsied back.  The girls dropped their very composed formation and dissolved back into the mess of pre-teenage giggles that they typically were known for.
    "Hey! Welcome back!" Said Angie to the old man, as she noticed him holding the door for the girls.  "I was afraid you wouldn't make it." The old man shrugged, "I wouldn't miss this for the world!" 
    The door next to Angie's office opened, and an older woman dressed in a long flowing skirt and high heels came out.  "Mom, that gentleman I told you about earlier, he's here." said Angie, as she gestured to the old man. 
    "Why hello, sir, it's an absolute pleasure.  I'm Sally.  Angie told me you were out Hooping with Billy this morning?" she asked in a refined and cultured voice.  She held out her hand to shake his, which the old man gently took and squeezed.
    "Sally, It's an absolute pleasure to meet you.  Your son is quite the teacher-- I had it down very quickly, it was a blast and a half!" The old man looked at her and smiled.
    "Billy is really something else.  Now, Angie tells me you're interested in learning how to dance? Any specific style you're interested in?"
    "I've always wanted to learn to Tango.  It's something my wife and I always wanted to do, you know, and we just kept putting it off." Sally nodded understanding.  "So, you're learning as a surprise to her?" she asked.
    "You could say that," he started with a shrug.  "She's passed on, but I'd still love to learn. I'd be willing to bet she'd get a kick out of it, you know?" Sally nodded again. "I have a latin dance class coming up very shortly-- it starts at half past, but the students are a little ahead of you in the curriculum." The old man looked down at his shoes. "But, I"m sure," she quickly interjected, "with a little one on one time before the class, we can get you up to speed." The look of relief on the old man's face was very apparant. 
    Sally took the old man by the hand and led him to the center of the room.  "The Tango, it isn't a very hard dance, you know.  It looks more difficult than it is.  I teach the Argentine style, which is very improvisational.  But there are some basic steps." She moved his arms to where they belonged on her, and said, "How we stand is relaxed. We're not drill sergeants, but we're not slouchy. Its more like a good hug than anything else." He relaxed a bit. Sally led him across the room, showing him basic steps.  The old man tried his hardest not to step on her toes, with a moderate amount of luck. 
    "You must relax.  Your feet know where to go, but your mind is holding it back! You have it there," she pointed at his feet, "but not here," as he pointed at his head.  He frowned and thought a second, then nodded.    "Okay, lets try it again."
    Sally counted off, and he tried his hardest to get into it, to let it flow.  He listened to his feet, as she said, and the dance moved the way it was supposed to.  She introduced a few more moves, and was impressed how well he got them when he was relaxed but focused. He wasn't dancing yet like a master, but she knew with a few lessons, he'd be very good at it. 
    After a few more minutes of dancing with the instructor, the old man was surprised to hear people walking into the dance studio.  Sally led the dance to its terminus, and complimented the old man heartily. "Gee, you're getting pretty good at that! I'm not overly surprised, you have very good coordination when you just relax and do it.  I think that's the biggest lesson to learn- to get over the nerves, and you learn fast." She smiled at the old man.  "Take five, the class is coming in, and today's lesson isn't any harder than what you've already done." 
    The old man sat down on a bench towards the door, and relaxed for a little bit.  Older adults were filing in, in exercise clothing and dress shoes. To him, it was a very odd way to dress, but he thought to each their own. As the class filed into their learning positions, one more person walked into the room.  The old man turned to see who'd be entering so late-- It was Susan from the television station. 
    She waved the old man over to her, and spoke in a whisper. "The station manager wants to talk to you over dinner.  Is that okay with you?" He nodded. "That's great! He's excited, and wants to help you work on your list!" The old man's eyes were as big as saucers for a minute, then with a whoop, he yelled "Wahoo!" and jitterbugged right there in the front of the room.  Susan broke into laughter as the old man danced.  When he settled down a minute later, she told him to meet her and the station manager at six that evening at the local fancy restaurant.  She handed him the information scrawled on the back of her business card, which he promptly pocketed.  He hugged her and thanked her before she left.  He returned to the class, and practiced the motions of the tango with the class, and he landed every step perfectly. 
    At the end of the class, Sally came up to him and smiled.  "I'm very impressed with your progress today! You really are a fast learner!" 
    "I think my mind is like a mostly dry sponge," he started, "I'm ready to soak up as much information as you can give me." He made sure to take a class schedule and packed it into his duffel bag. "I'll be back as soon as I can for another lesson Sally! Thank you so much." he said as he made his way out of the dance studio.

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