by Maggie & Darren
Follower writes: I had this image in my head you know, of my handsome husband masterfully sweeping me around the dance floor, weaving through other couples, as the rest of the room silently watched us while the music reached an enrapturing crescendo . . . and . . . well. For the first two years (at least) the man stumbled, stepped on my feet, and urgently whispered in my ear “you are off the beat”– not at all the sweet murmur of awe at my sublime dancing skill I was expecting. In one memorable occasion, he nearly scalped me by accidentally* yanking my ponytail.
* if you have any information on this incident, please contact me directly
Leader writes: “Do what the instructor just taught!,” my loving wife seethed through gritted teeth. “Start with the left.”
“I am!,” I breathed back, exasperated, so as not to draw the ire and attention of all of those around us.
Dancing with dancezilla isn’t easy…at first. It wasn’t until she gave up trying to lead that dancing became easier…and enjoyable.
Follower writes: I’m not sure what did it in the end. The kind words of an instructor, who explained that leaders do have it more difficult at the beginning, certainly contributed. The number of stares we were getting with each of our dancefloor fights also helped curb my dancezilla tendencies. And the fact that, with diligent practice, I learned to hear the beat and realized that, well, yes, I was off. In the end, I managed to unplug the perfectionist part of my brain, go into a sort of follower trance, and let the man do his thing. And, like magic, we got better. Also, it got more fun.
Leader writes: I feel both relief and pressure now that dancezilla lets me lead: relief in that I can make a mistake and not be abandoned on the dance floor; pressure to get the steps right so that dancezilla does not re-emerge. Luckily, relief far outweighs pressure since I know my wife understands the leader has a lot to think about in order to execute not just the current dance step, but also the next one and the one after that.
Both of us: What are we trying to say? Be kind to one another, and give yourselves some time. Dance dreams do come true, but at their own pace. Followers: let the leader get it wrong. He will eventually get it right, but not if you are constantly trying to just DIY. Leaders, have confidence in yourselves, you will get there. And whatever you do, don’t yank the ponytail.