Dancing At The Finals

Good bands were absolutely everywhere during the Finals! With no cover charges, some high-quality boot stompin’ could be enjoyed for free. After the third go-round buckle presentation on Saturday night at South Point, we danced until 3 AM.

As Christa and I made our way to the packed dance floor I said, “Let’s dance one song together, and I bet we’ll have partners by the next one.”

I was wrong. We didn’t last half a song before we were snatched up by a dark-haired guy with a mustache and a guy in a straw hat named Clarence. I adhere to a personal rule of never turning down an invitation to dance, unless he is 1) old and sleazy, or 2) way past drunk and possibly a danger to my health if he misjudges a dip. Whenever a guy approached our table of girls and asked a general, “Would any of you ladies like to dance?” I gave my friends approximately three seconds to respond before I jumped up and said “Yes!”

Dancing with new partners improves my horsemanship. Both require timing, feel and balance. Learning to adjust to the cues of a brand-new leader sensitizes my ability to feel and respond to my horse. It’s communicating without speaking. The occasional “Ouch, you ninny, that was my foot,” is a sentiment applicable to both activities.

I took a break and observed the other dancers at South Point. Texas two-steppers took the outside circle of the dance floor, his hand on her shoulder and her arm around his waist. West coast-style swing dancers occupied the middle, doing the pretzel and lots of spins. Big, strong guys flipped girls in boots over their arms, pretty much carving out a spot wherever they were. There’s something about a pair of nipped toe Luccheses coming at a person that makes ’em show some respect and yield.

The dancing reminded me of the good ole days in Chico, when we’d hear a lively song on the radio at house parties and suddenly the couch and kitchen chairs were empty. Good to know there are enthusiastic, skilled dancers all across the country.

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