I’ll admit that I have never liked dancing. Not the slow dancing when you hold a lady tightly, or the faster dances like the samba, cha cha cha, or the modern dances where people stand in front of each other and shake like demented chickens.
The reason I don’t like dancing is because I am not good at it. I’m all uncoordinated and my feet are too big. Dancing partners always trip over them or get trodden by me. And should I ever stand on tip toe like a ballerina my head hits the ceiling and dislodges some tiles.
You can imagine therefore my dread and fear when Aunt Gertrude read in the newspaper that there was a dance meeting at the local town hall featuring music from Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and other big bands from years gone by.
“Och aye … that would be great fun!” encouraged Uncle Herbert who is also visiting us from Dundee to meet Auntie from Adelaide.
“We should all go cobbers!” she enthused looking at me for support.
“Yes … I agree.” I said, “we should all go except me because someone should stay at home just in case the phone rings and needs answering …”
My reasoned argument was dismissed and we all went to the dreaded dance.
As soon as the band played “In the Mood” and I definitely wasn’t; Aunt Gertrude insisted that I take to the floor with her. She pulled me by the arm so hard that I heard it break off my armpit joint. There was no stopping her. In her loud Australian accent she insisted that I “lighten up” and “stop getting my underpants in a twist”.
To humour her, and just because I’m such a gentleman, I agreed to dance with her. But I didn’t know what to do. How do you dance to “In the Mood”?
I stepped accidentally on her feet twice. She grimaced the first time and said I danced like a pregnant kangaroo the second time.
The tune went on for ages, followed by Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pensylvania 6-5000 and then Moonlight Serenade.
I don’t know where she gets all her energy from. I was soon out of breath and yet she was as light on her feet as someone half her age. Thankfully, after the first tune Uncle Herbert came to the dance floor and took over from me.
“Och … these young ‘uns are not so sprightly as we are!” he joked.
“Fair dinkum, mate!” she agreed as they both danced together admirably.
It was a long night. They enjoyed the dancing. I enjoyed the beer. And I was right … when we got home the phone had rung twice and the answering machine had to do what I would have done had I been there!