As a teenager (at least until I got a part time job hawking not-quite-Tiffany-quality jewelry at Shopko) each Wednesday night was dedicated to youth activities at church. Some weeks we met to work on personally set goals and other weeks we did group activities, outings and service projects. But, one Wednesday a month was dedicated to dance lessons, with a bit of etiquette thrown in. As the most un-athletic, rhythmically challenged person who walks the face of this earth (possibly ever), I must admit to more than a little dread when the first Wednesday of the month rolled around. It wasn’t that I was necessarily opposed to the idea of dance lessons, but not only was I terrible at it, it is a bit hard to make the case for the need to know how to foxtrot and waltz to a fourteen year old who lives in rural Idaho. But, for several years, I learned to square dance and do the two-step, in preparation for a world that wasn’t really a part of the vision I had for my life. (Little did I know…)
As an annual Marine Ball has now been penciled onto my calendar until the end of time, sometimes I think I should have paid more attention to those lessons and made a few less trips to the water fountain in the hallway. Luckily, YouTube exists and is able to fill in my dance knowledge gaps. For instance, never in the Wednesday night sessions did we cover Korean pop music, but I was able to gallop along with the best (and highest ranking!) of them when “Gangnam Style” made it’s necessarily evil presence known last Saturday night.
While I can’t profess to actually know how to dance, at least the etiquette portion of those evenings have come in handy! Granted, in China there isn’t a separate set of chopsticks for each course of the meal, but events like the annual Marine Ball have forks lined up as if the villagers plan to pillage and plunder all night long. Add to that multiple glasses and an array of plates and it is nice to know I don’t look entirely like I was raised on a llama farm!
With three dates in tow (the husband, plus two of his best friends from high school who are in town for a visit), it turned out to be a great evening. I mingled. I MCed. I graced the head table with my presence. I danced (a little). And I left on a high note, singing none other than Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.” I would give the mingling and MCing a thumbs up, while the dancing and singing most decidedly earned a thumbs down, but in the end the thumbs of all directions equaled out to a huge LIKE. (Forgive the painfully overrated pop culture reference to Facebook. Just be glad there was no discussion of poking or tagging.)
Now my dress is hung back up in the closet, my shiny silver shoes are tucked away on the window sill (don’t ask, just know storage is tight in China), the gallon of hairspray used to hold my braided bun in place is washed out and the post-ball brunch is behind me, there is nothing left to do but set my MP3 player to push out ample amounts of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Vogue” and dream of next year’s event in Kuala Lumpur.
And, a little bonus for my faithful readers… 🙂