My daughter (16) decided to try out a ballroom dancing class tonight. She has a friend who dances competitively and also helps out at a beginners' class - tonight's class.
I drove the half hour there, negotiated a near-impossible parking spot, jogged up three flights of wooden stairs, and plodded along a dark landing. Through a doorway I saw a couple practicing a dance, they were obviously professionals because their teacher was that choreographer from "So You Think You Can Dance". The one that is always described as the best choreographer in Australia. I became quite excited, much to my daughter's chagrin, so I left and returned two hours later.
When I returned, what I saw in that dance studio was magic.
The professional couple and famous choreographer were gone.
There were completely ordinary people in the room, in couples, moving slowly and elegantly to dreamy, romantic music. One was an elderly Asian couple, there was a tall man holding an equally tall athletic woman, there was a beautiful middle-aged woman dressed all in black who was dancing by herself - her arms were holding an imaginary partner - she seemed peaceful and happy and not at all embarrassed. And there was my daughter, partnered with her friend, trying and concentrating and stumbling a little and all the time smiling and smiling and smiling.
Every few minutes the teacher changed the music and asked the second group to come to the floor. There was a huge dog, a husky I think, taking up an entire sofa on one end of the room, sleeping. On the floor next to him was a plastic take-away container with left-over spaghetti bolognaise.
Dear reader, it was just perfect. I actually felt tears spring to my eyes. It reminded me of the importance of music and movement and touch and confidence and hope and trust and friendship.