A woman asked me to dance

By Tony Attwood

Being on the dance floor opens an infinite world of options and possibilities.   Which doors you open, where you travel, and which reality you enter is entirely up to you.  You can take it seriously, or you can play.

Like many who work in the creative arts my option is to play, just to see where ideas go.  In this regard I’m no different from Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (except for the talent).  (If you want to know what I am talking about watch ROSAS DANST ROSAS

So it is with.  “A woman asked me to dance”.    Lots of people write notes on Facebook etc saying “what a fabulous night dancing”, and there is nothing wrong with that.  I’m just trying to do something different and write “Rosas” as words about each dance, rather than create the dance.

“A woman asked me to dance” is thus a game, based on a set of possible outcomes to one simple line.  Some of them are true, some of them not.  It is just an exploration of what has been, and what might be.

These short stories of possibilities first appear on my Facebook page.  You are welcome to join me there if you have not done so already.    As for this website, it too is an exploration, and certainly far from ready.  But you are welcome to explore it too – and help expand it if you want.

For background on Rosas Danst Rosas click here.


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Of course I don’t look like that.  There’s a video of me at the end if you really want to know.


 

A woman asked me to dance last night.
After a minute she said, “You’re very good.”
I smiled and graciously said, “I know”.
She asked, “how long have you been dancing?”
I said, “A long time.”
She said, “You mean like five years”.
I smiled. “I taught the Warner Brothers to dance” I said.
“Who are they?” she said.

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A woman asked me to dance last night, and after the dance I said, “What a superb dancer you are!”
She said, “That’s the corniest chat up line on the dance floor.”
I said, “I’m not trying to chat you up.”
She said, “Oh, so you think I’m not good enough for you.”
I said, “My script writer is getting sacked in the morning.”
 
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A woman asked me to dance last night
She was utterly amazingly.
At the end of the dance I said to her, “That was staggeringly brilliant. I could dance with you forever. When we dance it is as if we are one, we are the same person. You seem to be able to see exactly which move I am about to make before I even raise my hand. That was perfection.”
She said, “Sorry what did you say? My friend was waving at me. Tell me again in a minute”.
 
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A woman asked me to dance last night
As we started she said, “Go easy with me, I’m a beginner.”
I said, “That’s ok, I’m a beginner too.”
She said, “No you’re not – I’ve watched you dancing, you’re amazing. And my friend told me you taught the Warner Brothers to dance.”
I said, “That was just a joke.”
She looked terribly disappointed so I quickly added, “But I did work with Fred Astaire” and that seemed to sort things out.
 
 
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
As we danced she said, “You told my friend you worked with Fred Astaire.”
I said nothing and waited for her to continue.
At last she said, “I don’t think that’s right.”
I gave her a couple of quick twirls before replying. “You’ve found me out,” I said.
She looked straight at me. “Fred Astaire worked with Ginger Rogers,” she said, “And you’re not ginger.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
As I took her hand she said, “Were you on Strictly Come Dancing?”
I smiled and shook my head. “No,” I said, “I was in Strictly Ballroom”.
“Was that on ITV?” she asked.
I said “No, it was a film, made in Australia. We had to dance upside down.”
“Oh” she said.
I think she was quite disappointed about me not being on ITV.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After two dances she said ‘You never notice me.’
I said ‘That’s an omission on my part. I will try harder.’
She said ‘That’s not good enough. Tomorrow I’m going to throw myself under your car.”
I said , ‘But I only had it cleaned yesterday. ‘
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A little while ago a woman asked me to dance. After the first dance she said, “wow you are good. Do you own a yacht?
I confessed I did not but said that I had lived in Poole for 8 years and had done a lot of boating at that time – as most people there do.
“Such a shame,” she said. “If you owned a yacht I’d have to marry you.”
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(Not all of these little tales about women asking me to dance are yer actual truth, but curiously, that last one is one of those that is true.)
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On Saturday night just before midnight a woman asked me to dance.
I agreed and we had a really nice jive together.
At the end she said, “That was lovely. If you ever need someone’s throat cut, any time, day or night, you can find me on Facebook.”
It made a change from being asked how long I’d been dancing.
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A woman asked me to dance on Saturday. I said, “that’s gorgeous perfume your wearing.”
She said, “It’s French. My firm flies it into Mexico, it is smuggled over the border into the USA and then we drive it into Canada and export it to England.”
I said, “What’s the point? The UK and France are in the EU so there is no tax.
She said, “We’re getting ready for Brexit in two years time.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night
As the song ended she said, “How long have you been dancing?”
I said, “We don’t use that line as an opening any more.”
She said, “What should I do then?”
I said, “Get up in the morning and start a new train of thought that you’ve never had before. That usually works”.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “You’re that weird guy who does those ‘a woman asked me to dance last night’ posts on Facebook. aren’t you?.
I said “yep that’s me.”
She said, “Doesn’t that make a lot of woman just walk away from you in disgust?”
I said, “Yep, sure does.”.
She said, “Well why do you keep doing it?”
I said, “It also gets me a lot of dances.”

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A woman asked me to dance last night.
It was perfection in heaven.
At the end nothing was said.
We just smiled at each other as if this were the beginning of the world

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A woman asked me to dance last night
As she spoke, the rest of the dancers shrank back against the walls until they were just shadows.
As she came close my vision blurred but she became more real than real.
As we danced we stepped through a mirror into another world where we were gods creating reality from the mists of the past and the hint of the future.
As the music ended I asked her name.
She said, “I think we’ve gone beyond that”.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.  She was unbelievably amazing
After a moment she said, Why are you only doing simple moves with me?  You don’t dance like this with other women.”
I said “I am way out of my depth already.  I feel like a fool”.
She said, You’re too good a dancer to feel like a fool.  You should see this dance for what it is.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“A dance of equals,” she said.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.  She was unbelievably amazing.
“You are incredible,” I said.  “How you look just at this moment, how you move, how you turn, how you smile. I could dance with you forever.
“Don’t you ever want to be alone?” she asked.
“When this dance is over I shall be totally alone,” I replied
“I could weep for you,” she said. “You could dance with anyone and all you want to do is dance with me.
“I have no escape,” I said, “now that I have danced with you.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.  
“I can’t dance with you any more,” I said.
She looked unhappy at that.  “What are you trying to hide from?” she asked.
“The future,” I said.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.  
The dance was more dangerous and more exciting than any I had ever experienced before.  It made me feel that all I had ever known in the past was mere loneliness.
At the end she said, “That dance meant a lot to me.”
I said, “Can you describe how you feel?”
She said, “I haven’t got anything to say that would interest an orangutan.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night. It was wonderful, truly wonderful. I felt we were as one.
Then the dance finished, and we moved apart, and suddenly we were two people again.
I started to say something, but she said, “I don’t want to talk to you. Not now, not ever. I just want to dance.”
So we did
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
At the end of the dance she said, “dancing with you is like dancing with an octopus.”
I said, “Last week a woman called me an orangutan.”
She said, “Well she’s an idiot.  You’re definitely an octopus.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
At the end of the dance I said, “I feel sorry for all the other men who never get to dance with you.”
She said, “If they don’t dance they just don’t know how good it is”
I replied, “Yes but they might dance but still not know how good it could be.”
She thanked me for the compliment, walked away, and asked another man to dance, and I thought, “how do I know just how good it could be?  Could it ever get any better than this?”
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A woman asked me to dance.
After the dance she asked me what I did for a living.  I told her I wrote books.
She said, “are they any good?”
I said, “Some of them are quite good.”
“How do you do it – write books I mean?” she said.
“It’s like dancing,” I said, “I just start and the rest of it happens.  Sometimes it works sometimes not.”
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I asked a woman to dance last night.
She gave me a look of disdain.
The sort of look of resignation that a ghost might give on hearing it had been assigned to a haunted house.
At the end she said, “Wow!”
And then walked away.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance we had a chat about music, and she told me she liked opera.
I asked, “What is the difference between opera and madness?”
She said, “Ah, this is a trick question isn’t it?”
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A lady asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “You’ve done this before.”
I said, “once or twice.”
She said “tell me your secret.”
I said, “It’s not about how good you are, it’s about how good you want to be.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance we had a chat about music, and she told me she liked opera.
I asked, “What is the difference between opera and madness?”
She said, “Ah, this is a trick question isn’t it?”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
The song could have been anything but happened to be “I’m sexy and I know it”.
After a minute the lady suddenly said to me, “this is your theme song”.
I laughed so much I had to stop dancing.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
When we had finished she asked me where I had got my moves from, as she had not experienced some of these moves before. I told her I made them up.
She asked me how I went about making up dance moves.
I said, “The key part of writing a dance move is not knowing that what you are trying to do is physically impossible.”
She nodded, walked away, and didn’t ask me to dance again.
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I asked a woman to dance last night.  She said, “I think we’re friends on Facebook”.
I put on what I fear was an utterly inane smile; I have prosopagnosia, which is like dyslexia only different.
“Are you the guy who writes those ‘A woman asked me to dance’ stories?” she asked.
I admitted I was, and I felt a warm glow wash over me.
I have a reader!

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I asked a woman to dance last night.
She gave me a look of disdain.
The sort of look of resignation that a ghost might give on hearing it had been assigned to a haunted house.
At the end she said, “Wow!”
And then walked away.

A woman asked me to dance last night.
She said, “How did you learn to dance like that?
I said, “There are two only things involved.”
“Tell me,” she said with the sort of smile that can make a man crumple to the floor in a trice.
“It’s like all creative activity,” I continued.  “Be unfashionable and take risks.”


A woman asked me to dance last night.

At the end of the dance she said, “Did you know that the Democratic Unionist Party was the only group whose supporters all voted to Leave the EU on the grounds that the EU wasn’t homophobic enough.

Of course I immediately asked her to marry me, but she turned me down.

We did have another dance however.

A woman asked me to dance last night.
At the end of the dance she said, “you do so many moves no one else does.
I smiled and said, “That’s what I try to do.”
She said, “how do you get all these moves?”
I said, “The main thing is not to be afraid of silly ideas.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
As we finished she said she had read my blog about how we should all be more creative.
“How did you make yourself more creative?” she asked.
“I go around making mistakes,” I said.
“Why do you do that?” she asked.
“The perosn who doesen’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything,” I said.
“There are two spelling mistakes in that sentence,” she replied.
“Told you so,” said I.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “You’re the guy who writes the “Woman asked me to dance’ things.
I admitted the crime.
“And you are a writer?” she asked.
I said I was.
“So how do you get your ideas?” she asked.
“I mess around, I go out and get lost.  I wander around.  
I never know where I am going to the end” said I.

“And is that how you write dance moves too?” she asked.
“It’s much the same” I said.

A woman asked me to dance last night. After the dance she asked me how I had become a writer.
I said, “It was easy, I pretended to be one.”
“How did you do that?” she said.
“I bought a funny orange coloured hat, and some t-shirts with slogans on and hung around in coffee bars writing things in a notebook.”
“What happened?”
“The guy running the coffee bar told me to leave if I wasn’t going to buy anything.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night
“Do you really write all your own moves?” she asked
I said that I had written many of them.
She said, “Why do you do that – what’s wrong with the moves we have?”
I said, “I like doing things.”
“Why?” she asked.
“It’s only the doingness of doing things that makes things happen,” I said.
She shook her head and walked away.
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A woman asked me to dance last night
“You’ve been watching me dance,” she said.
“You’re an excellent dancer,” I told her
“Do you watch all the women who dance?” she asked.
“It’s more than that,” I said, “I invest in the discipline of looking.   Most people think they are looking but they aren’t.”
“What do they see then?” she asked.
“Only what they expect to see,” I said.
“So what did you see when you watched me dance?” she asked.
“I saw you flying,” I said.
She smiled and asked for another dance.
A woman asked me to dance last night.
At the end of the dance she said, “You do loads of moves I’ve never done before.”
“They are probably one’s I have written,” I said.
“So if I don’t know them how am I supposed to follow you?” she asked.
“Don’t struggle” I answered.
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A lady asked me to dance last night.
“I’ve been reading your blog,” she said.
“I’m sorry for wasting your time,” I said.
“I found it interesting,” she said. “I didn’t realise you were a writer and a musician, as well as a dancer. What makes you dance as well as write and play music?”
“Sometimes,” I said, “Art equals physical endurance.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
“How did you learn to dance like that?” she asked.
I said, “I think not being afraid of embarrassing yourself is a fairly important ingredient.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “do you really do all these arty type things that you write about on Facebook?”
I said, “Hmmm,” not wishing to over-commit.
“I want to do creative stuff,” she said. “How do I start?”
I said, “Look at something for a minute – a peson, a building, the trees.. Then write down 10 things you notice. Then do it again with listening. Then with touching. Then with feelings.
Keep doing it.”
“I can’t stare at people and make notes. They’ll think I’m weird,” she said.
“Now you know what it’s like to be an artist,” I said.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “What are you thinking about when you dance?”
“When the dance works,” I answered, “it transcends thought and becomes serene, as all the elements of the world are available to us as we move, and can then be transformed into perfect art.”
“That sounds like a load of bollocks to me,” she said.
I thought about it for a minute.
“You’re probably right,” I agreed.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “why do you dance with your eyes closed?”
I said, “Everything can be accomplished simply by closing one’s eyes.”
She said, “I love the way you smile when you dance.”
I said, “In that case, I’ll open my eyes when I dance with you again. Just for a while.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
At the end of the dance I said, “You are a beautiful dancer, it’s such a great pleasure to dance with you.”
She said, “A dance is a long rambling story, and you are a great story teller.”
I said, “In that case, you are the most brilliant listener I have ever met.”
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A woman asked me to dance.
Afterwards she said, “With all this writing you do about dance I thought you’d be better at it.”
I said, “A writer about dance doesn’t have to be a brilliant dancer any more than a political journalist has to be an opportunistic liar.”
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Last night, a woman asked me to dance.
As we were about to start she said, “do I have to tell you how good a dancer you are when we’ve finished?”
I told her she didn’t have to say anything.
“Really?” she asked. She looked like she didn’t believe me.
I said, “The best way to get approval is not to need it.”
And then we danced.
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A woman asked me to dance last night
After, she said, “You’re a creative person, is that right?”
“No more than anyone else,” I told her.
“But you have lots of ideas for your books and your dance moves, so that makes you creative.”
“Not by itself,” I said. “The best idea is to work out which ideas are great, and which are the random expressions of a semi-skimmed mind.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “Where do you get your moves from?”
I said, “I read novels.”
She said, “What have novels got to do with dancing?”
I said, “They are works of art.”
She said, “Where are you dancing Saturday night?”
I said, “The Shed, Nottingham”
She said, “Fine, I’ll read the book and see you there.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
From the moment we started she took over, creating new moves, spinning faster than possible, sending the pair of us ever higher.
At the end I realised she looked familiar. “Who are you?” I asked.
“I am Tilphousia, one of the Furies” she said.
“You mean from Greek mythology… you punish the crimes of the powerful against the oppressed?”
“That’s right,” she said.
“Right,” I said, “I have a list of jobs for you.”
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While out for a walk last night I met a friend who asked me why I danced.
“There is no why,” I said.
“Dance is an expression of me, myself, my beliefs, my values, my being. It is what I am.
“It is not a substitution for anything, nor the representation of something else. It is the ultimate expression of itself.
“So even when I find all my ability to dance deserts me, and I am complete rubbish on the dance floor, it is still my rubbish.”
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Lots of the comments I read on Facebook are angry.  People telling each other to stop posting x or y.  Complaints, annoyance, rage.
After I posted my rant about the homophobia demonstrated by a dance instructor at the Melton Mowbray club, I worried that I had got into the same modus operandi: shouting at the world from inside Facebook.
What has been heart warming is the number of people who have approached me at dances since then and not only expressed their dismay at the Melton instructor’s comment and actions, but also thanked me for doing a little something to stand up against it.
Sometimes we do need to be angry.
But maybe not all the time.
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A woman asked me to dance last night. She was a “dancerio fabuloso” as we say in Madeupio.
After the dance she said, “Why do you dance so much?”
“Because it makes me warm inside and outside,” I said.
“Ah,” she said. “Scorchio!”
Oh how we laughed.
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A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “Am I supposed to say something amazing now?”
When I looked at her curiously she went on… “For your ‘Woman asked me to dance’ book you’re writing.
I told her she could say something amazing if she wished.
“Well I’ve got my finger on the pulse of what’s going on,” she said and walked off to dance with another man.
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Last night I asked The Teacher to dance.
Within seconds Kali had taken us past Jupiter’s storms and Saturn’s rings, beyond the stars, beyond the heavens, into a dance created moment that has no right ever to exist, beyond time, beyond space.
Yes I was leading, but the vision, the direction, the inspiration (not to mention the balance!!!) was Kali, and we danced what for me was a dance I had always imagined but never imagined could be real.
I will live forever in that one dance, knowing that a dance like that is possible, just as I always dreamed it could be. Kali I will owe you forever. I never thought one dance could be that good.
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A lady asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she said, “Wow, you’re amazing”.
So naturally I explained my approach in using two handed moves that can be utilised to control both pace and direction when the lady doesn’t know the move, mentioning the need for counter-balance both of weight and rotation, and a dozen or so other techniques built into my moves and explained that the whole approach can be found on my website at http://www.jiving.info/a-woman-asked-me-to-dance.
Then after that brief introduction I asked her if she would like another dance, but noticed that unfortunately she’d had to leave.
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A woman asked me to dance last night. After the dance she said,
“What’s all the Woman Asked Me to Dance stuff about?”
I said, “the problem is modern jive clubs teach moves, and not dancing. It’s like painting by numbers on the dance floor”
“So what would you do?” she said.
“I try and dance the colours,” I replied.
“What all of them?” she asked
“No,” I told her, “only the colours that want to be danced.”
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A woman asked me to dance last night. It didn’t go very well.
“I thought you were supposed to be a great dancer,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “Some people are complimentary, but I know I make a lot of mistakes.”
“Then you should practice more,” she said.
“Next time,” I said, “I’ll fail again. But maybe I’ll fail better.”
“Is that one of your clever phrases?” she asked.
“No,” I said. “Samuel Beckett.”
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Last night a woman asked me to dance.

After the dance finished she just looked at me and said, “Where on earth that come from?”

I really was rather lost for a reply.

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Last night no one asked me to dance.

I went to a Ceroc dance in Letchworth where I knew just 3 ladies present and obviously danced with them.

After that I wandered the dance floor asking for dances, and invariably as the evening wears on I get maybe 6 or 12 requests to dance from ladies I don’t know.

Of course I know that men ask ladies more than the reverse, but to have a venue where not one single lady will ask me to dance….

It was really weird.

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A woman asked me to dance last night. It didn’t go very well.
“I thought you were supposed to be a great dancer,” she said.
“Not really,” I said. “Some people are complimentary, but I know I make a lot of mistakes.”
“Then you should practice more,” she said.
“Next time,” I said, “I’ll fail again. But maybe I’ll fail better.”
“Is that one of your clever phrases?” she asked.
“No,” I said. “Samuel Beckett.”

A woman asked me to dance last night.
After the dance she asked me why I wrote the “woman asked me to dance” pieces on Facebook.
“I write what happens,” I said, “and it reminds me how wonderful, absurd, stupid, and glorious life is.”
“And when you are reminded, what then?” she asked.
“That inspires me to dance some more, and then afterwards I write another piece about a woman asking me to dance,” I replied.
I may be mistaken but I am sure I saw her shake her head as she moved off….