May I have this dance?

I love to dance. I’ve been teaching classical ballet for over 4 years, and since I have been forced to discontinue taking ballet on a higher level myself, it’s no surprise that I enjoy all kinds of motion put to music! So when my sister and I were treated to a night of English Country Dancing at a Reformation Faire, we immediately fell in love with the style, grace and beauty of it.

Since we are such gracious and considerate individuals, we knew we just had to share this kind of family-friendly social interaction with our local community. Thus, since December we have been teaching monthly English Country Dancing to anyone with a hankering to relive the Jane Austen days.

We have learned a lot through our teaching (let me tell you, instructing little girls in ballet is vastly different than trying to direct 50 grown men and women in pair dancing). We have learned that any height difference between 2-4 feet makes dancing with one’s partner pretty awkward, that calling out can be just as physically taxing as actually dancing, and that men are vastly different from women!

Allow me to expand on that latter notion. Men and women tend to have dramatically different outlooks on life. A man will shop only if his life depends on it (in my Dad’s case, it would be Menards to pick up some roasted peanuts) and a woman will shop sometimes simply for the joy of checking out new styles and trends… even when she doesn’t need anything! The fairer sex will sigh, sob and giggle at all the appropriate moments in “Pride and Prejudice” while “I Am Legend” might have been the choice of the 15 year-old male. When it comes to dancing, the outlook tends to be the same. While it may not be a general rule that men abhor dancing, the sport is also not known to be an immediate favorite of theirs.

And this, my dear audience, is where the gentlemen enter. Whether some noble knights fear rejection, or mistakes, or simply the close proximity of a 2 foot distance from a female, it appears that men take a radically different approach to dancing than women. However, when the hesitancy is pushed aside, the boldness acquired, and the hand offered, a knight is born and a lady is rescued.

I have 5 brothers and I still do not profess to know males. But I am thankful for the differences the Lord gave us; that men can be tough and masculine, and women can be gentle and feminine. Dancing may not be a life or death issue, but biblical manhood and womanhood is. We risk the death of nations when men forsake their duties and women abandon their homes, and even worse when we throw off the word of God calling us to live our lives according to His purpose.

When women dress beautifully and step gracefully, it’s a lovely thing indeed. When men take the initiative and ask a lady to dance, it’s a very chivalrous act to behold! And when men and women shake off the shackles of the culture to pursue their roles with purity and honor, well… that is when the music really starts!

6 Responses

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  1. Emil Bandy
    Emil Bandy March 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm |

    “Whether some noble knights fear rejection, or mistakes, or simply the close proximity of a 2 foot distance from a female”

    If my experience on the subject (at the start of my English Country Dancing) is the same as every other man, it is a mixture of all three.

    English Country Dancing is extremely fun as far as social events go, probably up there right behind sitting around a fireplace just talking with friends……

  2. Jenny
    Jenny March 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm |

    It looks lovely!

  3. Anna Lofgren
    Anna Lofgren March 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm |

    Good thoughts! Of course, as a fellow dancer, I definitely enjoy any post having to do with the art. 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to start up our own once/month English Country dancing evenings here. Sometime hopefully I’ll call and get your recommendations on the subject – music, teaching dances, etc. 🙂

  4. Laura
    Laura March 18, 2010 at 1:00 am |

    “However, when the hesitancy is pushed aside, the boldness acquired, and the hand offered, a knight is born and a lady is rescued.”

    LOVE this. Thanks to a good many knights, I’ve had the immense pleasure of being the lady rescued! What a wonderful feeling!

    “When men take the initiative and ask a lady to dance, it’s a very chivalrous act to behold!”

    And this! You’ve expressed so well what I’ve tried to say so many times before! I’ve always failed though… I think I tried to say it in too many words. 😛

    Thanks for this post; I totally agree!

  5. Hannah
    Hannah April 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |

    Jen-Jen!!
    Wow, you should seen the big smile on my face when I got your comment – thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂
    And goodness… *looks around your website* I love this place; you have one very YOU place online. It’s seriously great.
    Have a lovely Wednesday! 🙂

  6. Grace
    Grace April 26, 2010 at 12:24 am |

    Lovely post! Very well written. Where do you hold the English Country Dancing sessions?

    I do have one comment about men shopping, though. My brother really likes to shop, whether it be for clothing, or guns, or just about anything, really, even if he is not going to buy anything. Just thought I would add that.

    Thanks for this post!
    Grace E.

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