Swing Dance Swag

What’s the term…”courting”?

When Jake was “courting” me, it was really, really refreshing. We didn’t actually go to dinner or a movie until months after we’d been officially dating. When we met for the first time, we got coffees and walked around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Later, we’d tour Dogfish Head Brewery. We’d go indoor rock climbing. It was 2016 and I was extremely impressed by him actually wanting to take me to do activities while getting to know me...ugh, the world we live in where this is deemed “impressive” and so hard to come by…

Case and (another) point, for another early-stage date, we went swing dancing. I put on my twirliest dress, borrowed my mom’s cushioned dancing heels, and applied tastefully red lipstick for my complexion...because I can’t pull it off, truth be told. Bobo over here.

He came to pick me up in his truck, and I remember standing on the stairs, giddy as all get out,  with my mom peeking out the living room window as he walked up to the house with a bouquet of flowers. It felt like I was getting ready to go to a high school dance, only way better.

I had never been swing dancing before, but I’m not going to lie, I have rhythm. (Thanks, mom.) I was a little nervous as you always are before trying something new, but I was mainly really excited. I was also (again) so darn impressed that a guy with a beard, who drives a truck, who’s a timber framer, who’s traveled to Africa and Europe, who’s played college soccer, who’s a star snowboarder, who knows how to play guitar and make a bookshelf and start a fire and change his oil himself...can swing dance. I. Mean. I lucked out. He also enjoys romantic movies so BAM!

We went downtown to a place called Mobtown Ballroom. (Baltimore ladies, go.) Like I said, I was more excited than nervous, but still, Jake and I were in our early stages. I had a little bit of pressure on my shoulders to not look a fool. I love to dance, but swing dancing is a level up.

We were cutting it a little close to our starting time, so we had a slight umph in our step after we parked the car. I’m the type that likes being early to everything and has serious anxiety when I’m running late. I’d rather get there with a half hour to kill, than be late. In my humble opinion, being late is incredibly stressful...and rude. Even thinking about it makes me break into a sweat.

It was probably ten minutes or so, maybe a little less, until our starting time, which was enough to make me think, Yup. Great. We’re late. I hate myself.

We walked in and saw couples already lined up about to start dancing. There were other couples sitting at the tables surrounding the dance floor, but we just figured they were observers. Hm, weird.

We hurried inside, I threw my purse on an empty table, and we promptly joined the dancers in formation at the ready. Even though I had no idea what “the ready” was supposed to be; I had no idea what I was even supposed to be doing once the music started. I looked at Jake like, “???,” and he was like, “???,” so we were going to just wing it together. Figure it out. Not how I imagined my first lesson to go, but here goes nothing...

The band started playing and what everyone broke into, I mean...I couldn’t even tell you. It was so damn fast. They were all tapping and twisting and twirling, and Jake and I just stood there dumbfounded. We looked at them with furrowed faces until we figured out that we were standing in the advanced class that was wrapping up. Because we weren’t actually late. We don’t belong up here. The beginners are sitting down waiting. It’s not our class yet. Oh God.

We rushed off the dance floor to retreat and find a table...preferably to hide under. It all made sense, the “observers.” We didn’t want to think about how stupid we just looked in front of them or what they were thinking about us. And we didn’t want to think about how noob-ish we looked to the advanced dancers. Amatuers. Hopefully none of them saw...ugh, but the instructor did! Maybe the band too! Perfect. Just...perfect.

We sat at our table, our sweet, sweet table, cheeks blushed and hands sweating. We couldn’t help but laugh, trying to push away the embarrassment. I was worried I’d look a fool in front of Jake. And I totally did. But at least we looked a fool together. That I didn’t see coming.

We’ve been in love ever since.

- Diana

Diana JoinerComment