Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#13. Take a turn in the Indiana Roof Ballroom

I always wondered where Arthur Murray dance classes were applicable. After attending the Indiana Roof Ballroom's Big Band Swing night, I now know those skills are useful in settings beyond dance studios and wedding reception halls.

Approximately 300 people attended the dance, and I would venture to say that 284 of them had enrolled in at least one of Mr. Murray's classes at some point in their life. The 8,700 square foot dance floor was a vortex of well-dressed couples spinning with complex footwork and impeccable posture. Everyone was in such unison that it seemed as though everyone had secretly gathered beforehand and mastered a complex choreography. That is, everyone but me and my date.

The skilled dancers at the Indiana Roof Ballroom dance floor
Conspiracy theory aside, I really was unprepared for entering the dance floor. Although I learned the waltz box step in high school gym and a few basic swing dance moves from attending swing dance nights at Fountain Square Theatre, my ballroom dancing skills are very limited. Knowing we would never survive amongst such pros, my boyfriend and I darted through the swirling Fred and Ginger wannabes and took refuge in the center of the dance floor.

But even the eye of the hurricane was not safe. Although we were obviously confined in the same space, alternating between swaying and our limited dance moves, other couples seemed to not see us; it was as though our inferior dance skills made us invisible. We narrowly avoided at least a dozen collisions. I should add that in addition to being the worst dancers in the place, we stuck out even more because we were basically the only people there under 60.

Although this could have been a recipe for disaster, it made the experience much more memorable. We spent most of the night laughing at ourselves. We may have been the worst dancers there, but I would argue that we had the most fun. Although other dancers had impressive skill, most were very stiff and going through the motions. I would take two left feet and fun over joyless Dancing with the Stars abilities any day.

Being shown up on the dance floor wasn't so bad. The Indiana Roof Ballroom is beautiful, crafted to look like a Spanish villa at nighttime, complete with a ceiling painted to look like a night sky. The live band was passionate and the singer was fiery. It was fun to see old married couples out for a night on the town and gave me hope that being old and married maybe isn't as dull as I think it will be. And it was definitely the best date I've ever been on. Who knows, maybe I will be dropping by my local Arthur Murray dance studio soon.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Emily! My name is Taylor Ellis and I'm currently an editorial intern for Indianapolis Monthly. We came across your blog and would love to do a little feature about you and the experiences you've had while attempting to conquer our list. Please email me at tellis(@)indymonthly(.)emmis(.)com (ignore parenthesis, just to make sure I don't get spam)

    Thanks and I look forward to hopefully talking to you soon!