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SSQQ-03: Susan SSQQ-03: Susan
by Mike Jennett
2011-12-26 08:20:12
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All I said to Susan was ,”Next time you guys go practicing, please let me know.” It wasn’t a date.

Susan’s a fixture at the studio. If there was a shower there she might move in.

During the day she looks after Jennifer’s daughter so I see here every time I take a lesson with Rebecca, which is twice per week. At night she’s either practicing by herself or taking a lesson and on Thursday’s she’s on the floor every moment of the party. Susan and the studio are two sides of the same coin and their atoms are probably intertwined in a parallel universe.

With those two I have a perfect excuse for screwing it up on the floor, so I stick to them when I can. I’m like those people at karaoke places who go up to the stage carrying their beer and shout into the microphone. At the first party I didn’t know about them and everyone who wasn’t a teacher left my company after a single dance looking bemused and somewhat disappointed.

This concept of lead and follow is as alien as speaking a foregin language on cue. How does it work? I don’t know. Presumably by telephathy. Of the dozen or so women I’ve tried to dance with, only three have seemed to know what to do and I realise that it’s me who’s lacking, not them.

Susan was the exception and, after her, I met Liane and a blonde whose name I never found out but might be Debbie. All three seemed capable of following - or at least accepting - my version of dance steps without complaint so, between them and the opposite extremes, I had a dance circle.

The three of them and some others practice some Sundays at the Union Ballroom on Union Square. Asking to go with them seemed the perfect combination of sociability and practicality – I need all the practice I can get and I especially need women who don’t seem to care that I’m a novice.

I suggest meeting in a bar close by for a quick pre-dance drink. There should be six of them, all women. Perhaps one of the guys will come too.

We meet. Susan, who has red hair several shaded lighter than Rebecca, has dressed better than the scruffy jeans I always see in the studio, as have I. No one else shows up. Apparently they’re meeting us in the ballroom.
We have a drink and I make the mistake of confessing that I feel nervous.

When we get to the ballroom, Susan unexpectedly takes my arm as we walk the hallway, so we arrive looking like a couple. The first people I recognize from the studio introduce us to strangers as  Mike and Susan. Both our names mentioned as a unit many times. Mike and Susan, Mike and Susan, Mike and Susan.

We dance a foxtrot and it doesn’t go so badly but I find my memory for steps is fading. I want to ask about the Mike and Susan thing but am not sure how to broach it. She leaves me as a Waltz comes on and Liane takes me up. “So,” she says with a glint in her eye, “Mike and Susan?”

This isn’t a date but it seems I’m the only one who knows that.

The next few dances go the way that most have at the studio parties.

She gets to me as a jump swing song begins, which normally I would try, but swing requires some arm tone and nothing works unless I wave her own arms in front of her face to show her we’re moving a certain way. I try a new technique with her, of using her body rather than her arms but there’s little improvement.

Ever time I see Susan she’s whipping her head this way and that and giving me a certain kind of look from across the dance floor and I;m wishing there were a bar in this place. Maybe I can run out for a quick one? I need to consider the Mike and Susan thing over a comforting brew to muse and ponder what it could mean. Stupid – I know what it could mean but I am not attracted to Susan and never even considered the possibility.

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