I’m pretty sure there is a well-loved DVD of Pride & Prejudice in the dorm room of every American female college student (the 2005 version, of course). Some nights are just perfect to pop it in the TV, grab a blanket and a steaming cup of coffee (or a chai latte, if you’re me and hate coffee), and curl up to watch the romance unfold between the spunky and audacious Elizabeth Bennett and the incredibly attractive and gentlemanly Mr. Darcy.
Tonight, quite obviously, is one of those kinds of nights.
I have always been fascinated by the dancing in the film, but ever since I began my social dance class it has reached a whole new level of giddiness. The ballroom scenes are so beautiful and well-done, and I just want to be there. Oh, I want to go to a dance like that so badly.
Even though the ballroom dancing we’ve been learning in the class is wholly different from the dancing in P&P, I’m equally as obsessed with it, if not more so. My brain has been swirling with footwork and rhythms and underarm turns for the last two months. Those two hours each week spent dancing are absolute bliss.
When I’m dancing, I feel more beautiful than at any other time. When I’m practicing my latin hip movement for the rhumba or the performing the forte in the tango, I feel like no one and nothing can touch me. I am a princess, totally and completely carefree. And even though I have no actual knowledge of what I look like, in my own head I am the most beautiful I have ever been. That’s enough for me.
When Mr. Darcy asks Elizabeth what she suggests to encourage affection, she replies, “Dancing. Even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.” I’ve always loved this line for its sassiness, but after learning ballroom dancing it rings so true for my experience.
Occasionally in class we get partners who aren’t necessarily as skilled or rhythmic as others, and honestly it can be off-putting But you can’t really dance with someone without forming some sort of bond, even if it’s just laughing about a blundered step combination.
But then sometimes you get the perfect dancing partner. He leads, you follow, and you’re effortlessly in sync. It is absolutely the most beautiful feeling in the world, even if it’s just for the length of I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Most of the males in my social dance class are close friends of mine, but you get a wholly different perspective of a guy when you dance with him (and especially when he’s insanely good at it).
Unfortunately, I don’t live in a time where balls and ballroom dancing are easy to find (or cheap when you can find them), so I have to content myself with random bouts of cha-cha and swing whenever I happen to be near a dancing friend of mine and an appropriate song is playing. But oh how much I love it.