Opinion: Dance is way out of line

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

“Seriously,” I responded to Mary Ellen, “in the middle of the afternoon? At our age? You must be kidding.”

“Why not? If we wait ’til evening, you’ll just fall asleep. Take your little blue pill.”

I took an Aleve for my arthritis and we headed out for a line dancing class.

We were in Florida with our friends Joy and Steve. I figured Joy dragged Steve along every week, but Joy told me that Steve claims he loves the activity. So it turns out that her husband, who is a better golfer than I am and a better bowler, is also a better liar.

There were about 60 senior women in the class and a few men. I assumed all the ladies were widows simply looking for something to pass the time, but when I looked out in the parking lot there were dozens of cars filled with impatient husbands peering at their iPhones or fast asleep in the driver’s seat.

Stella, the instructor, was quite good at her job, but she scrutinized me as I tried desperately — and unsuccessfully — to follow her directions. Step left. Step right. Cha-cha-cha. Foot forward. Pivot. Turn around. Kick. When I was certain I had gotten the moves right, it looked like the other 65 people were doing it all wrong. And in unison.  The five men in the class were eager for the session to end. I knew this because they were all dancing in their golf shoes.

Stella advised me to just dance and not think too much. It was too late for that advice: I was already thinking about how bad I was at this, thinking of all the people staring at me, and thinking of ways I could turn this disastrous experience into a humor column. Then Steve butted in and told me that I wasn’t keeping time. Not true. I knew there were exactly 12 minutes and 45 seconds left before this torture would finally be over.

When class ended, Stella said I was the worst dancer she had ever seen.

She may call herself a line dance instructor, but that was way out of line!