A few good men… and an excellent lady.

Who are your army? The people that you turn to when you need a bit of help. Some have been promoted up the ranks and deserve their position in the inner encampments of your mind, some appear briefly but their soldiership is no less valuable. Last night I was really blessed to be reminded of some and meet some others. This extract of a conversation might go some way to explain the start of my evening…

I’ve cropped the image as a non classy photograph of yours truly followed and I don’t think you need to see that. I took the advice and headed for the dance floor but I must have trodden on a nail or something because by the time I made it to the edge of the room I was deflated and sat down. I don’t mind admitting I was very close to tears.

The excellent lady I am referring to in the title isn’t actually me. The excellent lady is one named Julie. This is Julie and her husband Russell on the Saturday evening of last year’s weekender.

This couple shared their passion for tango (and will be doing again soon) at the weekend away. I blogged about how wonderful they were then and nothing has happened to change my opinion but last night their kindness was shown again.

Julie caught my eye and invited me to dance with her. I reminded her how weak my tango is but her immediate response was one of humility. Julie told me she needed to practise her lead and I would be helping her. Did you notice how instantly she made me feel valuable? Teachers, take note!

Julie and I danced and I felt relieved that I had managed a good dance. By my standards that meant the night wasn’t wasted. But then dance magic happened.

If you’re seen on the dance floor it seems to be that you’re asked more frequently to dance. The next gentleman to ask my hand for the floor was David. Immediately I confessed my novice status. Immediately he told me it didn’t matter. After 3 minutes I felt amazing. Then he opened his mouth…

Out poured compliments and useful, kindness-filled comments of support. He gave me feedback on my posture (apparently it’s quite good) he said I was an excellent follow that I didn’t anticipate moves – I didn’t have the heart to tell him I couldn’t possibly anticipate them, I didn’t know them!

We had another dance and then as a chivalrous man should, he returned me to my seat. Not to dump me there and go and enjoy his night but to get our drinks. He then stood with me and helped me to identify the good dancers, let me clarify that, the ones that would be good with beginners. As if this wasn’t enough, he took my hand and introduced me to Hugo. He told Hugo I was nervous but that I was good.

And I danced. All night. Not just with Julie or David or Hugo. But with a range of people. I made mistakes but I danced. I also remembered who would be gentle with a beginner and learned it’s ok to say “no”.

I took this photograph when I was sat thinking “if nothing else, I’ll get a blog”, thanks to Julie, David and a few good men I got so much more than a blog.

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