He takes her in his arms, carefully but deliberately. Poised to begin, they start to waltz. The man is finishing the last step, doing the current step, and preparing for the next step. He has to think. Plan. Do. Lead. He can’t step on her toes, can’t send her crashing into another couple, can’t forget a signal or else leads to her misstep, can’t make her dizzy with too many spins. He has to plan and lead and do it all spontaneously – all the other dancers getting in his way if he doesn’t adapt to the changing ebb and flow.
The girl has to be willing to follow. She can’t take over for him, but she can’t be a limp noodle in his arms. She has to watch for his signals, trust him not to throw her in harms way, believe that he has her best interest at heart, maintain proper posture.
One misstep and nothing is lost. The dance is just reset. Waltzing in time with the music, listening to the same song and following its rhythm. Marriage is a dance. A spontaneously choreographed dance that will never be the same twice but is made beautiful by carefully following the musician and willingly moving in proper roles.
While meandering around the alleys and tulip gardens and cherry blossoms of downtown Winston-Salem with Drew & Candace, their tender love and quiet glee were palatable. Whether cuddling on a park bench or laughing in a cherry tree, they obviously and genuinely cherished being with one another celebrating this season of joy: engagement, graduation, wedding planning and – soon! – marriage.
In between opening the car door for his bride-to-be and gently holding her hand while she teetered precariously on a grassy hill in heels, Drew caught me off guard with their question-of-the-day: what is your advice for marriage? While adjusting camera settings and composing photographs and cracking jokes, I think I mumbled something about going to bed angry if staying up is just causing more confusion and if sleep will calm the emotions and sooth the hurts and temper the tempers.
But in pondering their teachable spirit and kind humility in preparing for marriage by asking this question of the marrieds around them, I have a different answer: dance together.
Dancing to the same music (audible or spiritual), in the proper roles (leading and following), and with good posture (physical and mental) will help breed a beautiful marriage, a graceful waltz.
I’m so thankful for dance class at Dancing for Desert in Langley. John & I have been taking classes there for the past several months and have found it to be more than “just” a dance class and tons more than “just” a date night. I’m thankful for the life lessons we’ve learned through Hayley and Magda, for the communication lessons we’ve been forced to put into practice in dance and in life, and for the tangible practice in the art of leading gracefully and following willingly.
And as if Drew and Candace could possibly get even cuter, check it out: they met at Chick-fil-A, so we sat down over a milkshake to commemorate the start of their relationship (and the Carolina Girl in me was ecstatic to have an easy excuse to visit my beloved fast food restaurant.)