It’s not a classic song of the 1980s; it’s ballroom dancing at Lake Robbins Ball Room near Woodward, Iowa. I went again with my connection group [read: small group] tonight, and it was good, old-fashioned fun.
For starters, the dance hall has been around since 1931, I believe. That’s pretty fantastic. Secondly, there’s live music and a bunch of really cute old couples who dance really well. Thirdly, going makes me believe that I have, somewhere deep inside of me, some ability to dance.
I’d wanted to try swing dancing in college, and actually made it to a swing dance where I found the number of single gals to be so overwhelming that they were learning the lead part and dancing with one another. I was afraid that this dancing might end up like that (before I went) and was pretty hesitant to try because I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of working up the self-esteem necessary to go dancing only to dance with another bashful, giggling girl like myself. The mixture of guys and gals in my group is pretty equal and is reflected pretty much in the ballroom crowd, so though there is some sitting out, there isn’t any awkward school-dance/wedding dance circles and shifty-eyed swaying waiting for the lone male partner to make the rounds.
But going dancing isn’t about the partners, or the incredible steps you get to learn (which I have a deeper appreciation for; there’s a lot to know). It’s wholesome fun. We did a schlotage (total butcher for the name…basically a circle dance where you switch partners every 8 bars or so) and I was horrendous, but I got to dance with some older gentlemen…some of them were excellent at giving me direction, some of them were quiet and stoic, offering a polite thank you at the end of our turn, some of them mixed me up by calling out the wrong direction. It was fun though–you see the twinkle in their eye and you just know they are as young as they ever were but their body rebelled and aged. I want to be old like that.
The community is pretty rich, too, and the more people I talk to the more I hear agreement to that point. Something good is going on within this small group that we can study the Bible together and be friends on other days/nights of the week. I feel genuinely and richly welcome in this group by no extraneous effort of my own, and it’s beautiful. I was telling Karen that it makes me want to treat people differently–to be aware of the powerful acceptance we can gift to others. I’m a person who has repeatedly worked hard to get “in” with people only to be disappointed by the eventual revelation that I was never that in. I haven’t worked that hard, but I’m certain I’m in. This is the church; I love it.
Work starts up again on Tuesday, so I’d better get myself psyched up for that. Orange Bowl goodness for my Hawkeyes, too. I’ll miss having KJ around big time. Life goes on whether or not we’re ready for it, sadly.