My husband and I met during the disco-ball seventies. Fun meant a Friday night dancing non-stop with the BeeGees. We married and the eighties came along. Though we could still point an index finger and jut out a knee at precisely the same moment, the swing became more our style. It took a little more teamwork than Travolta madness, but we mastered it. Clear the dance floor – here come the Z’s.
That dance served us for years, but when our church offered ballroom classes – why not? We can dance, right? Woah! Waltzin’ and fox-trottin’ were harder than we thought. Making our feet conform to foreign patterns took concentration. It was tempting to revert to our good ole’ swing, but we hung in there and eventually added a few new moves to our Fred and Ginger repertoire.
Only recently, as I’ve been watching Olympic pair skaters and musing about what elevates marriage to the level of true intimacy (“the ‘very within’ place of the relationship…looking beneath the surfaces”, as author Thomas Moore puts it), have I realized how critical it is to be a GOOD DANCER.
We all admire trained dancers — men and women: the way they flow, the way they flex, the way they give and take almost effortlessly. Watching two ballet dancers, or two ballroom dancers, or even pair skaters, move gracefully apart and then together is thrilling: she’s in the air, then he’s in the air; she’s twirling while he’s circling, harmonizing perfectly his strength and action against her beautiful posturing.
A man and a woman combining all their balance and energy into an exquisite world-class dance is a lot like a legacy-love marriage. Both dancers know how to lead and both know how to follow. They are comfortable taking turns in the spotlight; sometimes spinning alone, sometimes spiraling so close, they become one. With fluidity, they meet needs and express needs.
The secret, as my honey and I learned with every new cha-cha-cha, is staying flexible.Rigidity in your relationship or personalities can keep a marriage earth-bound; the partners find it difficult to experience heavenly intimacy: the kind of connection that allows a man to feel so brave, he can lift and lean and leap knowing his wife will be absolutely on her mark; the kind of belonging that allows a woman to trust her husband so fully, he can hold her above his head with one hand.
The question is: is it time you two learned a new dance? Has the music changed so that your current two-step is out-of-step with the new circumstances in your lives? Sure it takes two to Tango, and sure it will require stretching — you may even bruise each other’s toes to start — but the mindset required to learn a new dance is the same one required to achieve real emotional intimacy in marriage…
FLEXIBILITY and TRUST.
Why not give it a whirl?
(Video below: “Captivating”…”Mesmerizing…” hardly begin to describe this performance by French figure skaters Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres in the International Skating Union’s World Team Trophy 2017 competition…)
“…care of the soul is more a process of listening and following…” Thomas Moore
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