Like a daily mantra, her calming words keep repeating in my ears.
Yet as the music starts, I still find myself all tensed up with my fists clenched and my brow increasingly creased in frustration as I try to recall the complicated steps. Even worse, my shockingly uncooperative, vaguely robotic limbs, with my suddenly stiff joints, just doesn't seem to be able to respond.
Leaving me stumbling about over my own two left feet like a pathetic marionette shorn of its strings. Not exactly grace in motion! More like Larry, Curly and Moe.
Fred Astaire I ain't, but it's all in a day's work for my dancing lessons. Yes, you heard it right, fellas! Much to the dismay of my much beleaguered dance instructor, I have finally started ballroom dancing lessons. As I leave the dance studio in the evenings, I imagine she slams the door shut to weep in a dark corner bewailing her lamentable fate while she massages her tortured fingers - relentlessly crushed by my white knuckled death-grip! A nimble dancer herself with astonishingly double-jointed limbs, she probably wonders why my knee joints are seemingly fused together.
Teacher : So you bring your right foot in, spin on the ball of your foot, lean forward and then do another spin back.
Paul : Oh yeah, I don't do that.
Teacher : How about this hip shimmy?
Paul : You gotta be kidding. I think my hip joints are fixed in position. If I pop my hip that way, I'd probably fall flat on my face.
Teacher : Try it.
Paul : Okay.
Teacher : Oops.
Paul : Come help me up. I probably broke my hip.
I know. I'm an impossible student.
Yet it's been a lifelong dream of mine to dance - despite my horrible coordination! Or perhaps because of it.
See that trim elegant fellow effortlessly tripping the light fantastic? Yeah, I'd want to at least try - though something tells me I have to dislocate a couple of joints to dance the way he does. I mean, does the shockingly dexterous fellow even have bones?