When it comes to my life's potential partners, dancing sits against the wall, pressed into a corner far outside my comfort zone. Music, I enjoy listening to, but releasing my body to those rhythms and melodies is never something I've embraced.
In fact, for our wedding, I tricked myself into dancing by approaching the endeavor as an odd cognitive exercise. (Which, when I write it that way, sounds shamefully unromantic.) My now wife and I enrolled in a semester of dance classes, with four other couples' worth of friends and an instructor who was fittingly a moonlighting college professor. The professor taught us principles and steps, which I learned like recipes. "Put your hand here and here. Your left foot goes there, your right foot, like so. Now do this." Et cetera. We already had a first -- ahem, only -- dance song in mind, one that made us laugh self-deprecatingly, and the professor programmed us with a routine that synced our kinesthetics to the tune's aesthetics. Like a player piano, we followed the mental equivalent of a perforated music roll, over and over.
At the wedding reception, 13 years ago today, we carried out the plan we had practiced. We danced a tango to a cover of this song about tangoing. We smiled at each other all the way to the last choreographed dip, our assembled friends and family grinning in amusement. Whew.