Shimmy Shimmy Quarter Turn

I’m a dancer, and I’ve done dancing for many years, even though I stopped and quit. I do still like doing it for fun. Ballet, tap, jazz – the lot.

In Australia, primary school goes up to grade six, at which point you’d be about 12 years old, before going to high school – years 7 to 12. When it came to partner dancing in primary school, we were all ten years old. Come on. Everyone thought that everyone had “cooties”. It was ridiculous.

Obviously they were assessing us on gross motor skills, making sure we could do simple things like follow instructions and move in a certain way. In this case, dancing involved teaching us combinations of steps to help our coordination as well, at least while we were young.

Let me go with every girl’s first life lesson: boys are idiots. Okay, don’t get me wrong, when you’re all grown up they really are much less of idiots, but I’m talking about when you’re young. When you’re in kindergarten you’re all cute and hang out together, and you tend to talk more and hang out more with the opposite gender when you’re a young teenager, but there’s a gap in between where girls and boys don’t really seem to like each other.

That’s the worst time to learn partner dancing at all.

When we did partner dancing, the way I saw it was that all the girls were patient and just obeyed the teachers, holding the boys’ hands when instructed. The boys would be really rude, holding their noses away from the girls, pretending that they stunk. When the teacher walked by and made everyone hold hands, each guy would look at the girl he was dancing with before quickly glancing away. One boy would loosen his grip on a girl’s hands as the teacher turned his back, holding them by the tips of his fingers as if she were diseased. Another would simply let go of the girl’s hands, rubbing them violently on the sides of his pants as if to say, “your hands are just gross, ewww”, leaving the poor girl with her hands limp in front of her.

After one dance was finished, a boy would raise his hand and ask for the teacher’s permission to go to the toilet, to which several other boys followed suit before the teacher would yell at them to come back. Then a bunch of them would exit the toilet, blatantly shaking their hands free of water. 😐

The girls would always be quiet. Maybe discreetly wipe their hand on the side of their dress after a dance because their partner had sweaty palms. Maybe think about washing their hands afterward. Maybe smile inside when they got to hold the hands of the boy they liked.

Maybe feel heartbroken inside when their love interest scoffed at them.

When I was eleven years old, the boy I liked had told me, “You smell like a cat, Georgina”. It hurt. It didn’t help that we were on our way to church (I went to Catholic school for some time) and I ended up being wedged between him and a boy I used to like, both of them telling me that I smelled like a cat.

Needless to say, I lost interest in that boy quickly…

Despite that, chivalry is not dead. Talk to my guy friends. That is, after they open the door for you, greet you, shake your hand and say hello. Perhaps every girl has nightmares about stupid guys… but it makes the respectful ones a lot more admirable. 🙂

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