Life is never straight forward. Even when you are fully focused on achieving new goals there are things that stand in the way sometimes. Somethings you can get over, but other things just overwhelm you and ambitions can evaporate in front of your eyes. The human spirit didn’t evolve by accepting set backs, but sometimes you just give in, even if only temporarily . Hundreds of people start dance lessons in the hope of finding a new leisure activity that will fulfil them. Sadly too many of these people disappear after only a few lessons. Some will return and try again. The reasons for these comings and goings are numerous and tell their own stories.

To read the previous chapters in my tale of a fictitious group of beginners click here

You were earlier than normal to your dance class, and you were pleased to see two of your friends sat in the bar area. It would give you a chance to chat about the great time you had at the freestyle the previous weekend. ‘You look happy Andy.’ ‘Yes, still on a high from Saturday night. I was just saying to Ellie that I was so pleased she suggested it.’ ‘So when is the next one Ellie?’ ‘There is one this weekend but I’ve something else on. I know Mandy’s had to promise to go out with her girlfriends for once, so how about we all go to the one the following week?’ You are eager to know if the group will all get together again, ‘Will the other boys go Andy?’ ‘I know Peter will but I doubt Robert will. He didn’t have a good time at the last one. He was pretty down hearted as he left.’ Ellie was her usual positive self, ‘I’ll have a chat with him tonight.’

Peter soon joined you and also thought Robert might not go. ‘I had a chat with him just as he was leaving. He’d had a couple of bad experiences with some of the better ladies. One actually stopped the dance half way through. She complained he was tugging her.’ ‘Oh dear, perhaps we should have danced with him a bit more. Look I’ll talk to him. I’ll make sure he has some nice dances tonight.’ ‘You are good Ellie.’

Sadly Robert didn’t show up in time for the lesson to start, but someone else did. She had arrived just as the lesson was starting so you didn’t get a chance to talk with her until the freestyle session afterwards. ‘Hello Paula.’ ‘Hi, is it Janice?’ ‘Yes, so you’re back.’ ‘Yes, long story.’ ‘How did you get on in the lesson?’ ‘I think I picked it up again quite well. I struggled with the middle move, but everyone was patient with me, and I think I did alright.’ You were pleased that Paula didn’t have to wait long for a proper dance, as Peter took her on to the dance floor. She had picked it up well and you were impressed just how good she was. You’d make sure you told her about the freestyle next weekend.

You were soon asked to dance yourself. ‘Is it Janice?’ It was one of the guys you remembered from the weekend freestyle. He’d remembered you were a relative beginner and he kept to the beginners’ moves you were familiar with. ‘You did really well. Will you be going again to the freestyle this weekend?’ You were just about to explain that you and your friends were going the following week, when you realised that you could of course go on your own. ‘I wasn’t but I assume you are.’ ‘Yes, look there’s a whole group of who go every week. You could join us. I’m Steve by the way.’

Before you could think about his kind offer a thought struck you. Robert hadn’t turned up. You’d hoped that we was just late, but there was no sign of him. ‘No Robert then Ellie.’ ‘No. I’ll give him a ring Janice. I’d hate to think that he given up.’ You looked at the dance floor. It was packed. You spotted the rest of the group. Andy was dancing with one of the crew members, who were there to help the beginners. He was becoming quite a dancer and you wondered how long it would be before he moved up in to the Intermediate Class. Ellie too looked like she was ready to move up. You spotted Mandy. She was dancing with Malcolm. Occasionally she appeared to mis-interpret his signal, but as they went wrong they both just laughed it off. They seemed very suited and you couldn’t help wonder if it meant anything other than they enjoyed dancing with each other.

That night, as with previous weeks, you played back some of the events of the night. You thought how well your friends were doing. You were doing well too. Then you thought about Paula. It was so good to see her come back. You remembered your first night. She had started a couple of weeks before you and she’d reassured you after you had admitted you found the first three moves quite difficult to grasp. ‘Don’t worry. There’s a beginners’ refresher class and there are crew members to help. I was just like you on my first night, but everyone was so helpful and friendly’

That first night she had explained how she had always wanted to dance, but her husband wouldn’t go with her. She had initially given up on her ambition to take dance lessons. One day a friend had told her about modern jive dance classes where you didn’t need a partner, and she was quick to find a class. Her husband had never really been comfortable with her going out dancing, and so, out of a sense of duty, she had decided to give it up. ‘One day I thought – hold on, this is my life too. Is it so wrong to want to learn to dance. I loved my husband but this seemed unfair. Thankfully he agreed that it was wrong to stop me doing something I’d always wanted to do.’

Before going to bed you do one last thing – you take a peak in the wardrobe. Your beautiful dance dress is still where you hung it after the freestyle at the weekend. You thought about your invitation to meet up with Steve and his friends. Could you wear the same dress two weeks on the trot? Perhaps you should treat yourself to another.

to be continued…