The Lost Intimacy of the Slow Dance
I remember in middle school, the first time that you danced with a girl was met with an overwhelming cacophony as social bombardment as soon as the song was over. For me, ‘that song’ was “This I Promise You”, “I Do”, and “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” on permanent loop. I also remembered the rules, you had to be an arm’s length away, the girl would have her hands on the guy’s shoulders, and the guy would have his hands on the girl’s hips. Or, since most boys had zero clue at that age where the hips actually were and didn’t want to be super creepy, we had a extremely light grip on the abdomen of our dance partner. Ah, young romance, all hormones and stupidity.
I also remember for me, after the initial awkward silence and averting each others gaze, I would usually crack a joke to relieve the tension. Using sarcasm and humor as a defense mechanism probably stunted my emotional development, but that aside, it was great way to break the ice. As you got older, your arms started to bend more, so it didn’t look like two robots swaying to music any more, but you know, ACTUAL dancing.
It’s funny, as soon as you graduate high school, you really lose the opportunity to slow dance, that is until you go to your first wedding. It’s funny, you forget how wonderful a slow dance actually is until you see people in love dancing together. When you’re an adult, sex gets in the way of a lot of things. Sex is confused with intimacy, intimacy is confused with sex, and it can become a mess.
But with a slow dance, there is something pure and ideal about it. There is no pretense, there’s no complication, you simply have to be together. To simply be together, in a moment of time, focused solely on your partner. To simply be. It’s a beautiful thing, and I think when you’re little, you don’t comprehend how wonderful it can be. Maybe I’m waxing poetic, but I really do believe that.
Just being with someone else with no pretense, no expectations, just being. All sorts of amazing.