Last weekend my husband and I attended his cousin’s wedding. I was looking forward to the event for several reasons. 1) Weddings are a good time to dress up and 2) I really love to dance. It’s a great way to let loose and just enjoy yourself. I KNEW this wedding would be even more special with the dancing portion because the groom is originally from Guatemala and enjoys Latin music.
For me, Latin music is some of the best to dance to. I enjoy going to Zumba for just this reason. (Don’t get me wrong – I love a good slow dance with my hubby too, but Latin music gets your heart rate UP and makes you feel happy!)
Once the music portion began, I was on the dance floor. I rarely took a break. The DJ played a nice mix of slow and fast tunes, not all Latin-based, that kept everyone happy. The older couples slow danced quite a bit and the younger folks got to shake their groove thangs. My husband and I sat out one of the Latin slow dances. Although we had taken dance lessons for our wedding, the floor was filled with couples who knew how to dance a proper Cha Cha and we did not feel adequate.
I watched, fascinated, with each step and was enthralled that each couple didn’t dance the same way. In my mind, the Cha Cha is a series of basic steps (as taught to me), but these couples each had their own version. I loved watching their expertly maneuvered dances, envious of their skills.
During a break, we went out for a few drinks and several of the dancers came out too. I couldn’t help myself.
“You guys are great dancers! I just love it!” I exclaimed like a lovesick fanatic.
“Thank you! It is easy. You just have to feel it,” the man said, holding his hand to his heart.
“I do!” I told him back, “but…” I tilted my head at the hubs, “him not so much.”
They laughed and we moved on. I felt good that I had connected with the other family and that I was able to show a level of respect not only for them but for their culture. During the next several songs (which were more upbeat), I danced around the floor trying to emulate their steps. I was especially jealous of the woman wearing very shiny (like diamonds!) 6 inch heels. She danced to a LOT of songs and never took those shoes off. I wish!
As the night wore on, and my feet began to hurt more (even in flats), I took a break to hang out with my husband. When I turned around, two of the groom’s family were extending their hands and pulling my husband and I out to the floor. They separated us and helped show us each a few dance moves. I looked over my partner’s shoulder to see the bride and groom smiling at us – happy for this small blending of families.
“You’re a good student!” my friend (her name is Kelly) told me.
“Well you got the good student,” I said, laughing.
“I figured since you said earlier that you feel it! I chose you!”
We both laughed at that. At the end, I thanked her for her generosity and hugged her. I left the dance floor feeling so thankful for the kindness they extended to us. They could have sat at their table and mocked our lack of hip-swaying moves, but they chose to befriend us and share their love of dancing with us instead. In that moment, I felt the two families coming slightly together.
I couldn’t help but think to myself: “Isn’t that how life should be? Isn’t that how we should always treat one another?”
Maybe it’s time to stop pointing out our differences and shouting about how others don’t know our struggles. We all struggle with something. Let’s squash our insecurities and critical natures and figure out this dance together instead.