Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Don't Dance

Every time I hear Lee Brice's song I Don't Dance, I think of Coach.  On our recent vacation to Florida, which is 30 hours roundtrip in the car and alot of music, we heard that song innumerable times.
Sometimes in life, it's the seemingly tiny little things one person does for another that make all the difference. For Coach and me, it was four dance lessons that spoke volumes.

On my first date with my now husband at a local pizza place, there was a football game on.  Trying to act like I knew the game, I mentioned the 60-yard line.  Without even looking shocked, Coach turned to me and said, "So, let me get this straight, you sat in the front row in school?"  he asked.
"Yes, and you were the boy who called me for the homework, right?"
It was true love in bloom.  We were night and day; yin and yang.  But somehow it seemed to work.

A high school coach during the time we dated, his baseball team got great joy out the fact that Coach, for the first time anyone could remember, had a girlfriend.  When he took the team to Florida, the pilot of their flight got on the intercom and said to the entire plane, "We have a high school team on board today and the players tell me they are going to win the championship this year.  On behalf of US Airways, we hope that happens because the team has told me their Coach is going to get married if they do."

5 years later, we were getting ready for the big day.  For all of his coaching experience, my sweet husband could not dance.  I wasn't much better; my father was an excellent dancer and a great lead so I really never paid all that much attention.  And those square dance sessions in elementary school PE class weren't going to help us.  Coach agreed to dance lessons at Arthur Murray.  We arrived at the studio, CD in hand with our wedding song - Marcus Hummon's Bless the Broken Road, the original, before others recorded it as their own.  Coach handed the CD to the instructor and said, "How many lessons do we need to dance to this song?"
She listened to the song, nodded her head and said, "Well, it's not a regular waltz-type song.  Can you pick another one?  I have lots of wedding songs you can choose from."

"No," he said, "This is the song.  If you can't teach me to dance to it, I'll go somewhere else.  The song doesn't change."

"I can do it in four,"  she answered, as if we were contestants on Name That Tune.

With every session, the instructor emphasized that a dancers leads with his body movement, not his words.  It was hard for Coach to grasp that one instruction.  He had to fight hard not to yell "time out" or blow a whistle.  He always wanted to call the plays, to let me know exactly what the moves were. Coach would nod his head and clap, until finally I said, "We're not in a huddle, will you stop that?"

Our wedding video captures the culmination of our four beloved Arthur Murray dance classes.  Coach started out gingerly, counting in time with the music, the entire guest list in a circle around us, his fellow coaches counting off "1-2-3, 1-2-3."  About one minute into the song, Coach said, "Okay, I'm ready.  I'm gonna spin you."  The crowd erupted in cheers at that spin and a fellow coach ran out onto the dance floor and wiped his brow.

Every year on our wedding anniversary, I put on my wedding dress first thing in the morning and we dance to "Bless the Broken Road," usually in the kitchen with our three sons watching and giggling.  And every year on our anniversary, I always wait for the inevitable, "I'm gonna spin you."

He does dance.

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