I felt myself blushing beet red through a cheesy smile of apology. Finally I settled for putting my right hand on her left shoulder (at which point she put her left hand on my right shoulder - no bumping this time), and I took her right hand in my left. Now, at last, we were in a workable position.
At fifteen, what I didn't know was how to slow dance. But I already did know I had to play it cool. So to hide the fact I knew no dance moves, I swayed from side to side, picking up and moving my feet in a kind of slow walk / shuffle. She did the same. It worked! We were slow dancing. We were actually slow dancing, taking our tempo from the song playing on the gramophone.
That song ... our song ... I'll never forget it as long as I live. It was the haunting and beautiful Mary Anne sung by the 60s British band The Shadows, Cliff Richard's instrumental backing group. Mary Anne is the only vocal of the seventy or so hit singles The Shadows composed. To this day, I can't hear Mary Anne without being right there, fifteen years old, back on the dance floor, trying not to trip over my own feet, trying to be cool, resting my head on her shoulder (she was taller than me), enjoying the smell of her, enjoying the puffs of her breath on my cheek, going from being totally terrified, to "This is totally cool! I like this! ..." in the span of a few minutes. Slow dancing was it!
These days, my life isn't slow dancing. To the contrary, these days my life is mostly full out, full tilt, full on rock 'n roll, baby! Yet critical, essential aspects of it are indeed like slow dancing. Here's how.
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