… My best friend is an incredible person. I’ve known her since I was sixteen and we’ve both changed so much. However, our likes and ideas were always align. Always.
Until the moment she asked me to go country-western dancing.
Knowing my disdain for country music and lack of interest to ever line dance, my mouth hung ajar when she asked for my attendance. Want to salsa? Count me in. Bollywood? You got it. Gangnam style? See you on the dance floor. Boot-scootin’-boogie? Pardon?
We walked to the door of Whiskey River (why are they always named similar? I guess Cowboy Hut wouldn’t have the same allure) and bestie’s boyfriend stopped to hold the door for me. Right on cue, the bouncer (are they more a ‘wrangler’ if cowboy hats and spurs complete their outfit?) said with the heaviest southern Texas accent, “See ma’am, chivalry ain’t dead.”
My mouth was hanging open again. We walked on all three feet of the red carpet (more of a rug, really) to where we were asked the password.
What on earth was I getting myself into? A speakeasy? I left my flapper dress at home…
- It’s a good thing my friend is aware of these words to pass. We were ushered in immediately and there I stood, involuntarily stuck in place, staring.
Floor to ceiling was gorgeous wood, the chandelier circling on the rodeo-dance floor was made of beer bottles, and the sea of cowboy hats produced wave after wave of country-ness.
“It’ll be okay. Trust me,” was the assurance issued from my friend.
I overlooked the country dancers spinning their partners on the dance floor as the music crooned. At one moment I had to remind myself it is 2012 and I am merely visiting a foreign land. The bars were filled with scantily-clad women with matching lower back tattoos. Looking down, I realized I was in Animal Farm. There in every direction were cowboy boots. The finest leather. The latest detail. An array of colors in every direction. My eyes slowly made their way back to my own gams where like pegs, my black ballet flats remained indignant.
A unfamiliar song sounded and my friend eagerly grabbed my hand to drag me to the dance floor. We would be line dancing.
Line dancing in of itself is simple–a repeat routine typically with kicking (the air, preferably not a neighbor). A few steps in, the smile made its way to be plastered on my face. One thing led to the next, and before I knew it, I was enjoying it! ‘Round and ’round we went, kicking, stomping, etc… and it was awesome! (don’t tell anyone)
Soon after that was done, my hand was grabbed by Sian’s boyfriend who wanted to two-step with me. Two stepping, I know how to do. Two steps on one side, one on the other. It is basic and boring.
Dancing backwards and letting a man lead you while dancing requires trust. It requires patience. It is awkward. Never mind the fact that you’re literally walking backwards and hoping you’re not slammed into other patrons, I thought it was cute he asked the best friend to dance so I obliged. Few normal steps here and fro, then a quick change in the 2nd act, what do you know!
- He started spinning me in circles, over, under.. where my arms were and how it looked, I’ll admit, I have no idea. The room turned into a painting with streaks of color and light as I spun around and around. Suddenly, I felt his hand around my waist again as we returned to taking two steps on one side, one on the other. This is why people love it, I finally realized. My smile stretched wider than the western prairie. Before I knew it, Eric was at it again, spinning my world and my brain. Weeeeeeee!
Raucous laughter filled the ears of my friends as I giggled and wiggled along with the country bumpkins.
All of a sudden an utterly ridiculous song came on and the dancers panicked– It would be Gangnam Style. Yes, I know the entire dance and no, I have no qualm about performing it in a public place– even if it is a country-western bar who mistakenly played a recent popular dance song…
With the knowledge of waking at 4am to catch my flight and the clock nearly striking 1am, I made my way outside to go where arm-in-arm we skipped to the car singing and dancing. Parking lots were a continuance of the dance floor and fun was to still be had!
Enjoying country music and dancing was something I never thought I’d like. But then again.. as my father says, “Never say never.”
(I never did ride the bull… next time?)