I Mortified Myself In Public For My Wife

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dancing salsa lessons wife
A non-dancing writer takes a Salsa class with his wife and lives to tell the tale.

The whole Salsa thing started with my wife's friend, Autumn. Autumn is a Salsa-dancing junkie. She Salsas the way most of us brush our teeth, which is to say, pretty frequently. Recently, Autumn got Tara all fired up about how much fun Salsa dancing is, how sexy it is. Soon, Tara wanted us to go, despite the fact that I cannot dance, that I do not understand dancing.

Dancing, I am the title character in a short film called White Man in Terrible, Self-Conscious Pain. My wife, by contrast, doesn't do self-consciousness. Which I admire, no end. Preferably from the couch, in my own house.

 

But you don't always get to do what you want to do, in a marriage. Sometimes, you do what she wants to do (learn to Salsa) so you can do what you want to do later (have after-Salsa sex). And honestly, I was willing to be wrong about dancing. Maybe it would be different from the Karaoke debacle, when I put down the mike, mid-"Glory Days," after Tara kept signaling me to raise my pitch. Read: Dancing Can Improve Your Relationship

That's how, one Sunday, after a shot of tequila, I wound up at the Jimmy Anton Latin Social Special 16th Anniversary Party.

That Latin beat punched through the thin walls of the large dance studio and into the reception area, where professional-looking dancers bought admission tickets and adjusted stretchy Salsa outfits. The plan was for Autumn to give us a lesson in a nearby room, after which we'd try out what we'd learned on the dance floor. I looked at the casting call of expert dancers around me, and wished I'd shot more tequila.

A hitch: the nearby room was now a storage closet for the band. Autumn offered to teach us in the crowded hallway, just the kind of public humiliation that I wanted to avoid. "I'd rather have blood drawn than do that," I said (to clarify, I pass out when I have blood drawn).