1534. Ballroom dancing
© Bruce Goodman 12 June 2019




Jane’s biggest regret in life was that she’d never danced. To be honest, she wasn’t exactly Swan Lake material.

No that’s not what I meant, said Jane. I was not thinking of ballet. I was thinking more of ballroom dancing.

In fact, Jane wasn’t thinking exactly of ballroom dancing either. She was thinking more of how lovely it would be to be in the arms of one of those male dance partners one sees on television. One of them could fling her all over the place, and then they would dance on and on and on. In fact they would dance into the sunset. They would fall in love and getting married and have a pile of kids. And the handsome ballroom dancer would come home from a day of working to support his wife and children, and before the wonderful dinner she had prepared they would dance a quick foxtrot in the living room. Yes, that’s really what Jane wanted. Not simply a dance, but a dancer.

And then she went to the parish ball, and it was very bright and lovely with coloured lights and a wonderful band. And Jane sat against a wall on a long form next to another person who was also a wallflower. And then Jane saw a man approach. He was very handsome indeed. Jane’s heart kind of fluttered, but he asked the girl next to her for the dance. And Jane smiled like she was really enjoying the occasion but in truth she wanted to cry.

Then quite suddenly there was a man’s voice next to her. She never saw him approach.

“Would you like to dance?” he said. “I know people might think it silly but I’d love it if you would dance with me.”

Jane said “Yes!” and she and Mervyn (for that was his name) danced the whole night away. The things Mervyn could do in his wheel chair! Backwards, forwards, spins and slides. You wouldn’t believe what a show-off he was! Quite frankly, Jane lost all respectability and danced like there was no tomorrow. They were named the “couple of the ball” and stole the show with their celebration jive.

That was over forty-five years ago. Mervyn is long dead. But Jane delights in teaching her grandchildren how to dance. No! No! Not ballet. Ballroom dancing.




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