Once again, Sparkledancer and I decided to make our way out to the dance floor. As you might imagine, based on what time of year it happens to be, this past weekend we opted to go to a Christmas dance party that was taking place at the Endless Dance Hall.
I want to get this out of the way before I talk about the party. There was one other dance event I went to earlier this month. Remember that one time when I was in a parade? Well… because of someone (*cough* Bony *cough* *cough*… excuse me, something must have gotten caught in my throat) putting a major guilt trip on Sparkledancer, I ended up being in another one. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about being in this parade, because I didn’t think that Sparkledancer was healed enough for this kind of event. It’s one thing to be dancing on a decent floor with proper dance shoes on that will assist her in spinning, it’s another thing completely to be dancing on blacktop for a couple of miles.
It turned out that being in the parade was actually not a good idea for her at all. Even though I tried to keep everything as simple as I could while we were dancing, and it was raining lightly almost the whole time so the blacktop was slick and helped with turning, she ended up being in pain for a number of days afterward. I felt so bad about that. SO. BAD. I hate seeing her in pain like that, and it made me feel like I should have tried harder to talk her out of giving in to the peer pressure to be in the parade.
We had already gotten tickets to this party before the parade fiasco, and they were much more expensive this year than in years past when we went. Even so, after what happened after the parade, I was still hesitant about going, even willing to call the tickets a sunk cost and just stay home to keep Sparkledancer from ending up in pain again. There were many promises from her that she would be careful and we could take it easy, and that helped but I still was nervous about the risk.
Luckily, everything turned out OK. We went to the party, danced much more than I expected we would, left when Sparkledancer said it was time to go, and the next day she wasn’t in pain at all. Hooray! That’s a good sign! I don’t think it’s going to completely eliminate my nervousness about going to any other dance events in the near future, but it will ease it slightly knowing that we were able to get through this one without her suffering any consequences afterward.
The night started off rather strangely. The evening was billed as a ‘Dinner + Dancing’ event, and we didn’t want to participate in the dinner portion. So we arrived fashionably late, thinking that the dinner portion would already be over.. but it wasn’t yet. All the participants who had bought tickets were given assigned seats to make serving the meal easier for the catering staff. We headed to our assigned table, thinking that we could just stow our coats, change into our dance shoes and (since dinner was still going on) make awkward small talk with the others there while we waited for the music to start.
There were two seats still open at our assigned table, which seemed good to us since that was how many chairs we needed. We sat down and started to settle in, but then a guy across the table from us whom I had never met before quite angrily told us that Sparkledancer’s seat was already taken by someone else. We were surprised, since that meant there was only one free chair at our assigned table that we had bought tickets for.
After looking around for a bit, we found that there was a row of spare chairs set up at the back of the room against the wall next to a rack that coats were hanging on. Rather than deal with the angry guy at our assigned table who wouldn’t stop glaring at us, we left the table and staked out two of those chairs as our designated spots, and then just sat there looking around waiting for the music to start while everyone else ate food and talked.
We sat there for about ten minutes before one guy from the table we had vacated came over and told us that he wasn’t at his assigned seat, he had just been hanging there with a friend and didn’t realize he had displaced us. We told him it was fine, and we would be good hanging out in the back. That mystery was solved!
The lady who had checked us in at the party and gave us our table assignment was very concerned that we opted to sit at the back of the room as soon as she noticed us over there. We tried to tell her it was fine, and that we hadn’t come to eat anything anyway so sitting in chairs at the back was just perfect for us. She offered to bring us some snacks or desserts, but since we had already eaten dinner before we arrived we declined every time she offered.
Eventually she came back to us and said that since we had paid full price for the tickets and we weren’t eating anything, she was going to give us some of the ticket price back. I tried to back out of that, telling her it was really alright and she didn’t need to make a fuss and they could keep the money to help cover the costs of the party, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. So she wandered off and came back a bit later with a wad of cash and gave it to me. Sigh…
The weirdest part of that whole interaction, and the reason why I am even mentioning it in the first place, was that the lady felt the need to touch me every time she came over to talk to Sparkledancer and I. Specifically, she would stand in front of the chair I was sitting in and lean over so that she could put her hand atop my forearm, and then gently squeeze it as she spoke to us as if to emphasize her talking points. This didn’t just happen one time she came over. She had to put her hand on top of my forearm every single time. Every. Single. Time. Why would she do that? It was super weird!
Another weird thing that happened, which was related to the table I had been assigned to sit at, came during the raffle drawing that they had right before the dancing started. The raffle was simple – everyone who had bought a ticket to the party had been assigned a table and could choose any available seat there. Each seat had a plate in front of it that could be used for getting food from the dinner buffet. There were at least eight plates at each table, and underneath two of the eight (or more) plates a sticker had been affixed. The two people from each table with the plates that had stickers won the raffle and were able to go up to the Christmas tree at the front of the dance floor and pick a present.
As everyone was laughing and picking up the plates to look underneath, I glanced over at the table where I had been assigned to see who won. Everyone there was laughing and pointing at one lady, so she had found one sticker. But no one found the second plate with a sticker until they picked up the empty plate in front of the empty chair – which happened to be the chair I had sat in before moving to the back of the room. So I would have won a prize had I stayed at the table. Yay me!
With that all out of the way, the dancing finally started. The music that night, as you might expect, was all Christmas songs that the DJ called out various styles of dance for that mostly fit the music. Because of the song choices, there were a lot of Foxtrots, more so than any other dance style that was done that night. Second place went to East Coast Swing. And then everything else kind of fell way behind those two styles and were done in pretty even numbers.
The dancing I did that night went alright. I still didn’t remember a whole lot of figures, but I remembered more this time than I did at the last party I went to, so that was an improvement. Maybe if I go to a half-dozen more events, I will be back to remembering everything that I knew before I stopped dancing. Either that or I will have to start looking at dance videos on the Internet to remember things. Hmm… one or the other would probably help.
At some point, Santa emerged from the men’s bathroom. I didn’t see him go in there or come in through the front door, so I imagine that he must have come down the chimney, and since this was a dance studio and there was no fireplace… the chimney must have dropped him in a weird place. Santa wandered around for a couple hours, dancing with people, taking pictures whenever asked and spreading Christmas cheer wherever he went. Then the DJ announced that Santa would be leaving after the next dance so everyone had to say goodbye to him as he danced by. After the song was over, just as mysteriously as he appeared, he wandered into the men’s bathroom and was never seen again.
Another weird thing that happened that night was that there was a guy who came to talk to Sparkledancer and I a couple of times. He looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t put a name to his face. I’m not exactly sure what he was talking about half the time because of his accent and the amount of noise in the room, but at some point he told me that it was nice that I was so young, and that he had a son my age. Now this guy didn’t look that old to me – maybe in his early fifties tops, so I wanted to ask him how that was possible since he would have had to have had the son in his very early teens for that to be possible since I’m forty. But I opted to let that go and just smile and nod instead. I guess I still look young.
He also told Sparkledancer that she looked like she didn’t eat enough during that same conversation. Yeah… that happened. When he came by later during a Quickstep that Sparkledancer and I opted to sit out and asked her to dance, she turned him down – and only partially because I was the only person that she was dancing with that night. He looked really confused when she said no to him, like he had never had that happen before.
There was another guy that stopped by to talk to Sparkledancer and I while we were sitting in the back waiting for the dancing to start, and he for some reason was intent on trying to make a joke about what we were wearing. Imagine if you would a Christmas dance party, with everyone dressed up in Christmas-colored formal wear (and one person in Christmas pajamas)… and then there was Sparkledancer and I, wearing all dark colors. So the man, whom I didn’t know, decided to stop by and ask us… if we were going to rob the place. Whaaaaaa? He thought it was super funny, and was laughing about it and said that he only had a minimal amount of cash in his wallet, even offering to give it to me if we would just leave the place alone without sticking anyone up.
Both of us were really confused by what this guy was saying to us. Even after he tried to explain the joke was in reference to my all black getup, I just couldn’t find the same humor in it that he obviously was. Sparkledancer gave him a super-fake laugh to try and humor him, and then he went away. I’m not sure if he thought the joke was successful or not when he left, but I really didn’t. Which is weird because usually I think everything is funny!
The last funny person I have a note about was the older gentleman who had his even older mother there with him. He was pushing her around in her wheelchair throughout the night, positioning her in various places around the dance floor. I didn’t see him dancing at all, and they weren’t dressed in formal attire like everyone else at the party (except Christmas pajama person), so it seemed like the two of them were just there to be spectators for the evening.
What was funny to me was that at one point, during a brief intermission in the dancing, the gentleman took his mother up to where the Christmas tree was at the front of the room. Then he spent a long time positioning her next to it… around the back of the tree for some reason. He had pushed her so far back behind the tree for a while that I wondered how she was even able to see the dance floor! It was super weird. Why did he do that? Luckily he only left her back there for several minutes before going back to retrieve her.
I know I’ve been away from dancing for quite a while while Sparkledancer has been healing, but it kind of seems like dance people got sillier while I was gone. Will people be this silly at the next dance event I go to? I will keep my fingers crossed and hope so!