The older couple was tentative and sweet, hands touching, eyes gazing at one another, bodies close. Fans blew across the parquet. An instructor sweetly showed them one step, then another, how to move as one, how to flow seamlessly.

And they’d been married for decades. (One bought a gift of ballroom dance lessons for the other and yesterday afternoon, they ducked out of the sun and clear skies to grow even closer for a little while at the Fred Astaire dance studio in Bloomfield Hills.)

Not a client yet, I was there to meet with owner Evan Mountain. We chatted about the beauty of blogging and using social media (which he does very well) for business. We’ll work together sometime, but right now, we’re building the relationship.

I watched that couple, and it reminded me of my grandparents at every family celebration so many years ago. Grandpa Artie’s been gone 11 years this fall, and Grandma Sheila is 90 and not aging well these days. But they were of the generation that believed the face you showed the world had to always be done up, comported with dignity and refinement, and dressed well with lipstick on to get the mail.

Theirs was the generation that learned to dance. At every bar mitzvah, wedding, anniversary party, they took to the dance floor and seemed to float across it, smiling wide and big, and all the rest of us watched them with such love, it almost oozed out of us.

I still remember the way Grandpa Artie’s hand felt in mine: big, soft, reassuring. So soft. Even as a cantankerous teenager, I’d hold his hand and sit close. 

All relationships are a dance. My grandparents knew the steps, literally and figuratively; there were times I thought perhaps they weren’t so well-suited for one another but they stayed the course. It’s what they were taught to do, to dance in sync, to follow one another’s moves.

Things like dancing together surely do enhance whatever it is you’ve got going. Whenever Dan and I do yoga together, go for a walk, or otherwise get involved in some active pursuit, we grow stronger, closer, more convinced of our compatibility. 

We can’t dance very well though, but I blame him. (Subtle chuckle.) After years of childhood dance classes and co-captaining the pom pon squad in high school, I’m pretty sure I’ve got rhythm.

I guess that’s why we’re together. In some areas, I can lead and in others, it’s all him. 

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