James has entered my marriage. He’s a fast-talking, funny man in his 30s with swaggering hips and sparkly shoes. James…is our dance instructor.
Studmuffin, who has a history of very well planned gifts, got us dance lessons for our 12 year anniversary. Does Studmuffin like to dance? No. Can Studmuffin dance? No. Studmuffin is a tall, lanky white boy from Wisconsin. He couldn’t do the running man if his life depended on it. I do give him credit, he does his best when the occasion calls for dancing (aka weddings). But mostly I dance and he holds on or stands and bounces a bit. The only song he will fast dance willingly to is “Ice, Ice Baby” and it is a very incredible sight that not many people have seen. And yes, I will record it for you next time he does it (I’ll have to get a spy camera though as to not make the boy self-conscious).
I’ve always loved to dance. I’m not the best at it but since I have a healthy dose of self-esteem and don’t embarrass easily, I will get out on that dance floor and have myself a good time. I never was in dance lessons as a child (which I regret but didn’t have much say in it) and I have dreams of learning ballet and tap. I LOVE Zumba and really want to try Bollywood classes. Dancing makes me happy and it’s a great way to destress and get a good workout. My main challenge now is to find the time/energy to go out dancing and to find one of my similarly tired mommy friends to drag along with me.
Over the course of our 16 year relationship (yes, it took 4 years for the proposal), Studmuffin and I have taken a few swing dance lessons. Never went well. I have a hard time following if my leading man doesn’t actually TAKE the lead. Take command of me, and I will follow. Be a limp noodle, I’ll show you how it’s done. This frustrated Studmuffin so lessons never went so well. Its probably been a good 10 years since we gave it a shot.
So lo and behold, Studmuffin signs us up for a month long class called “Wedding Dances” at a place nearby called Tropical Ballroom. The name and website looked a bit cheesy but I was so thrilled Studmuffin was going to give it a try again, I would have agreed to meet up with Dancing Danny in an alley somewhere. We arrange for a babysitter and it seemed even Studmuffin was excited to see how it would go.
And then we meet James. He’s very handsome, fit, and always has good breath. He cracks jokes by the minute and is very gregarious. Everyone loves him. Very quickly he understands how much of a stretch this is for Studmuffin and is very kind and supportive. He tells Studmuffin that his goal is to find his rhythm – he has some, it is just buried very deep.
We’ve had 3 lessons so far and I have to say – we are getting pretty good at the waltz and rumba. My favorite moment so far is when we finally figured out a spin while waltzing. I went spinning and felt Studmuffin’s hand on my back, guiding my spin. I finished spinning, Studmuffin grabbed on…and we moved right into the next step together. It was awesome and sexy and so much fun. That’s when Studmuffin told me I had to be careful about smiling at him. I flashed him a big smile as we continued to waltz and he completely lost his concentration. It’s pretty special to know that my smile still has that kind of power over him.
I wouldn’t say that romance was ever lost with us but as with a lot of you, daily life – especially as parents – can get in the way of the relationship that started it all. We are busy and tired. It takes more effort to be romantic after 16 years. So I have to thank James and his dance classes for giving Studmuffin and I a chance to slow down and just be us again - to feel connected and to focus on each other for an hour. We have really enjoyed the classes and today Studmuffin mentioned that he wouldn’t mind continuing after our month is over. This says a lot about our experience. Now I just need to ask James how to order matching sequined outfits!
This will be us in maybe 6 more sessions!