Ballroom #3

“Now, when you close it’s a pet peeve of mine that your shoes…hm…” he crouched in front of me, “your knees don’t touch. Well, I suppose that can’t be helped now, can it. It’s just how you’re built. So…well, don’t lose any sleep over the fact that your knees don’t touch, there’s nothing we can do about it.” All the while I kept trying to make my knees touch, and just now in the kitchen I’ve been standing here seeing how I might make them commit this unnatural, abominable act, which seems to me achievable by a combination of rotating, clenching, god knows, I’m a monster! “And when you begin competing you can just wear baggy pants.” I’m a monster!

Today we focused on waltz. He said that if I didn’t happen to have any waltz to practice with then I should just imagine it–but I happen to have an obscene amount of Anton Karas and other Viennese Favorites sitting around ready to be abused by my steps. I have significant trouble hearing British accents because I tend to associate them with my numerous personal failings, and also with BBC journalists. But I found my instructor quite agreeable and, because from what I can tell he’s built like I am, I’ve even more courage concerning all this, is there an ounce of grace in me?–today was focused almost exclusively on technique, I can’t remember all the words I’m supposed to remember–footwork; another word for lilt, which is what I learned when I was studying a Russian method of classical piano; ___; ___; and in the meantime they count tempo by bars per minute rather than beats, so I quickly convert 29 – 32 bars per minute into 90 bpm, which seems rather slow until I’m lilting around a chair. Best of all, though, is that already I’ve become significantly less anxious about this whole ordeal–whereas at my first lesson I was mournful over not having time to get drunk beforehand (as I did for my first singing lesson), I’m now easily manipulated, observed, touched, critiqued, willing to follow instructions, to imitate, to totally fuck up.

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