It Takes More Than Us Two to Tango

I was curling my hair and dressed in skinny jeans. The babysitter was on her way, and I looked over at Billy. "Wait. You're wearing WIND PANTS?"

"What you are wearing?" he asked incredulously. "This is a tango class at the YMCA. It's a gym."

I love to dance. It's one of my favorite things in the whole world. The husband... not so much. I know, I know. We defy the stereotypes.

But Billy is a good sport, and he will occasionally take me dancing because he knows how much I enjoy it. I do the World Cup, and also once every four years, we dance.

Only this time, the dance class was at the YMCA. I didn't think that was a big deal. But, as it turns around, this setting presented us with a significant wardrobe dilemma. Because seriously, what do you wear to a tango workshop at a YMCA?!

So I settled on yoga pants, a layered top, and big earrings. In my book, you can absolutely never go wrong with giant earrings. However, you can (and I did) go wrong with tennis shoes. I knew it would be a problem, but what else can you wear with yoga pants?

The experience was everything I hoped and dreamed.

The instructors (I'll call them Sherry and Charles) gave us some directions, and we were off - walking in a circle! Billy was pushing me backwards and making the most hilarious facial expressions (on purpose? I'm not sure) that I could not stop laughing. Since I have a very hard time walking and laughing at the same time, things started to unravel.

Next, they decided to teach us "the rock step." Billy's ears perked up. "This is not what you think," I told him. Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what a "hard-core rocker step" in tango would look like exactly, but this was seriously just rocking back and forth. The pause button, if you will.

I should mention that the instructors keep calling out one student for critique: Billy. I honestly thought he and we were doing fine. I mean, it was basically glide-walking. Did Billy pick up his feet? Yes. Did he master the "cat-like" movement Charles kept referencing? No. Was I shaking with laughter and trying not to make any noise? Yes.

One of the challenges for Billy and the other guys was Charles himself. Though we studied his feet, Charles was really shuffling in no discernible pattern while seemingly holding onto his partner for support. Yet he kept calling Billy out. MORE THAN ONCE, he pulled Billy away from me to dance with him. In fact, we were the only couple he cut it on, and he danced with Billy more than me.

Billy came away wondering what he was supposed to learn from those private lessons since Charles continued dancing the male part and sort of hassled Billy for messing up the woman's part. It was a bit tricky, and we had divided by genders to learn it actually, so I just tried to discreetly wipe my tears and stop laughing.

When we were practicing a little more complicated, 8-count move, all the guys were really struggling. The instructors would demonstrate, but Charles was hard to follow and he seemed to change his mind a couple times mid-move. Finally, Sherry offered to demonstrate the male part to all the guys. This was not appreciated.

She finished showing them, and I heard Charles ask her, "Was that any different than what I did?" I was standing close enough to hear and also too close to burst into laughter because... yes. It was very different.

But she maintained her cool and said, "Oh, no. I was just showing them again."

He responded, "These guys just don't know how to dance. They have no experience! They are first-timers!"

I think I did start laughing at that point because... dude, we are at a YMCA doing a one-hour tango workshop. Adjust your expectations.

But all my expectations were met. It was foolish, and it was awesome. And we had so much fun. In fact, when the instructors reminded everyone about a follow-up class on Saturday, I looked at Billy. His face said it all. Maybe in another four years!

Photo credit: Patrick McDonald (I know... you thought those were my legs.)

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