Following my husband's death in 2008, I moved from Tennessee to Florida to look after my parents. Now I'm living in a retirement community, making friends and trying new things. The most fun I've had has been ballroom dancing. So far, I've taken intro lessons in all the dances and now I'm starting intermediate. I hardly have time to read anymore but I manage four or five dances a week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ocala Dance Club

Back in February I blogged about a neighbor who introduced me to ballroom dancing. I've been looking for some way that I might show him how much I appreciate his effort because not only did I reconnect with dancing but he also introduced me to a group of singles who live on this side of town and ride together to a lot of dances. A few of them have become very special friends.

Well, recently I attended a dance held by the Ocala Dance Club. It's the oldest ballroom dance club in Ocala and also one of the nicest. Men wear coats and ties, women dress in semi-formal dresses and the decorations are tasteful and elegant. In order to join this club one must have a partner and it costs $55 a year in dues. Plus you must be sponsored by a current member. The dues cover the expense of the once a month dances with live bands and the Christmas dinner/dance. Den invited me to be his guest last week because he already belongs with his partner, Hilda. She used to be his uncle's "girlfriend" before he died. Den offered to sponsor us and said if I joined with Paul, he'd back off and let Paul have first claim on my dances. Very honorable, but I hope he doesn't back off too much.

So I asked Paul if he'd like to join with me as his partner and I offered to pay our membership fee as my way of saying "thank you". He accepted. I hope he loves the club as much as I did. I want my thank you gift to be special.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Weather Changed

I love the early morning walks. Slowly but surely we've been working our way up to 3 miles which a neighbor assured me is the distance from our villas to the Arbor Club and back. Friday it was pretty nice but still warmish and humid. The dogs were trying to lick the dew off the grass on the return home. I figured I was going to have to cart water for them from now on.

Saturday morning, I dressed as usual in shorts and t-shirt but the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees from yesterday. Rather than go back and change I decided we'd just add a little jog here and there to the walk to warm up. Worked like a charm. And we made it all the way to the Arbor Club. Easy. Of course we started pretty early for a change (like 6:15 AM) so it was dark all the way but there was also a lot less traffic. The pups were still eager to walk by the time we got home - I guess the heat and humidity really takes a lot out of them.

Saturday afternoon I went to a West Coast swing workshop at 1:00. I dressed as usual in shorts and t-shirt but when I stepped outside, I found the temperature hadn't risen much. Back inside to change, this time into slacks and 3/4 arm length top. Funny how I now find 70 to be cool. It didn't take me long to become acclimated to Florida's weather. Naturally, I opened all the windows and doors to let the breezes blow through. Fantastic!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You're a beautiful woman

Last night I heard those words for the first time in my life. They are really powerful. Of course, I don't really believe it but it's wonderful to hear. I think Robert Heinlein said it best, "A man does not insist on physical beauty in a woman who builds up his morale. After a while he realizes that she is beautiful - he just hadn't noticed it at first." Although, I think Den spends more time building up my morale rather that the other way around.

We went to a dance last night at the Arbor Club here at On Top of the World. This picture isn't from that dance but from one at Oak Run.
Tomaura was playing and they are really good - head and shoulders above the other live bands that play at the various dances. We both dressed up a little, he was all in black while I had on a flirty little black and white dress. Quite a few people came up to us at various times throughout the evening complimenting us on our dancing or saying how nice we looked. This is so completely new to me I hardly know how to respond. I think Den is more accustomed to it. He seems to take it in stride anyway. I always tell the women (and it's always a woman) that he's the one responsible for making us look good on the dance floor. He is, after all, the leader. But as a dance teacher told us the other day, it's a partnership. The woman can't be passive, she needs to take an active role in the dance and I think I do.

While I may not be beautiful, Den makes me feel beautiful. What more could a woman want?