Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com
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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba

Melodie Newman Rosenfeld is a lecturer at an academic teachers college in Israel and has been working with teachers and Read More
Member Since
Apr 2016
Published Books
9

We are in awe of our talented Russian ballroom dance instructors. Just watching them dance is inspiring enough to get old folks onto the dance floor.

 

Boris, a slim, agile knock-out, has won awards as a dance performer in Moscow. He is a travel-agent by day and a dance instructor by night. He glides on the floor effortlessly, sensuously, with his female colleague, Elena, who is tall and slender, with beautiful skin and shapely legs that end in petite, gold leather dancing heels.

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

Who can keep up with Elena’s attractive outfits and Barbie rumba shoes? I wear the same baggie pants for several weeks running and put on flats which cater to my bunion. At my age I have my priorities.

 

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

Elena doesn’t know how to teach but is happy to demonstrate the woman’s part as many times as I request. When I ask what she does for a day job, she says she’s looking for a husband. I am not making this up.  I give her back a blank stare and wish her luck.

 

Tonight Boris and Elena are teaching us some of the basic steps of the rumba, the dance of love.  Boris demonstrates the man’s steps to the men and Elena shows the woman’s steps to the women.

 

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Now it’s time to try out the steps and the couples join up again.

 

My husband calls me to his side. He holds by the maxim that the only way to learn a dance is to do it.

 

He’s got a point.

 

But then our weekly dance-bickering begins.

 

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

I have tried to learn a dance by just doing it. A lot. Doesn’t work.

 

It’s much better if I watch the teachers. A lot.

 

Here’s how it works in theory: my eyes take in the steps, roughly store them in my brain, and then my feet access the steps when the music comes on.

 

Simple.

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

In reality, my eyes see the steps well, although my brain doesn’t exactly store them so well.

 

My feet sometimes access the half-baked stored memory and sometimes not, since they are more often disengaged from my brain.

 

In addition, I can’t recall which way to face while attempting to keep the rhythm.

 

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

At the moment, I position my hand elegantly on my husband’s upper arm. At least that’s correct.

 

But then I realize that I can’t see Elena.

 

I say: Let me stand on this side of you, so I can see her better.

 

 

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My husband replies, his voice tense:

 

But the men are facing that way and we have already watched the steps.  Now it’s our turn to just danceJust keep to the romantic beat of the music. Come closer to me. What’s so hard? It’s like the cha-cha-cha but more romantic. 

 

Pretend you’re not in control for once and just follow my lead. 

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Is that what you think? That I always want to be in control?

 

I sit down in protest as well as to watch Elena again and look at the other couples muddling through the steps.

 

 

 

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My husband gives up on me and dances his part alone. He actually learns dances quicker than I do, which provokes my utter annoyance.

 

Him: Just follow my lead and dance.

Me: But I want to watch it again.

Him: Dance!

Me: Watch!

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

At the moment, I know for a fact that he’s doing some of the steps incorrectly, but I diplomatically decide not to break the news.

 

Knock-out Boris is now looking at us, which gives me brain-freeze and feet-palsy.

 

He comes over and corrects my husband’s missteps. Gotcha.

 

Back and forth we squabble and dance, until some of the steps make sense to my feet and stick in my brain.

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After a while, we get it right.  Even better than some of the other couples. We dance it again and finally relax.

 

What was so hard about this dance?

 

We go home and both promptly forget the steps. How could this be so hard?

 

We come back the following week and struggle to remember the steps again. This pattern goes on for several weeks.

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A month later, we go to a wedding. It’s there that we actually get it together to dance the rumba, at least for beginners. By this time, we even recognize rumba music and confess that we’re such geniuses.

 

Some of the middle steps we mess up, but overall we get it.

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

Our friends comment on our remarkable dancing at the wedding. We’re in all the videos.

 

We are the ideal couple.   So glamorous!

 

So talented, so easy!

 

So effortless!

 

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

If they only knew.

 

 

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Melodie’s Teacher Stories: Doin’ the Rumba by Melodie Rosenfeld - Ourboox.com

Image Credits

p. 2  couple doing the rumba: http://3tgmli1sbjtj2hpytw6t8lw1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/rumba-372×500.jpg
p.4 gold rumba shoe:  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53f75bc0e4b097b8f583ca1f/t/53f96127e4b0a720a05066f3/1408737648777/
p.8  couple of goats: httpscdn.pixabay.comphoto201308182309goats-173940_960_720.jpg
p. 10 cartoon of beginning dancer:  http://www.how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com/image-files/cartoon-ballet-008.jpg
p. 12 two left feet:  https://aotw-pd.s3.amazonaws.com/images/two-left-feet.jpg
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Image Credits

p. 16 couple dancing:    http://www.dancewithusottawa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/adults-1400×600.jpg
p. 18 angry baby http://www.curatormagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/AngryBaby.jpg
p.22 young dancers:  http://www.theweddingcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/princeton-wedding-photographer-jennifer-eric-0044.jpg
p. 24 dancing in the moonlight:  https://s-media-cache ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fd/19/fe/fd19fe9483d15a471ea382621e8f6393.jpg
p.26. dancing mice: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j2nTYSw8aZ4/UQAbw83_-YI/AAAAAAAADrk/fkxt97JsxXw/s1600/Dancing+Animals+Funny+Pics+(2).jpg

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