Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Do you have permission to waltz?

"Would you care to dance as well?”
Light-footed Captain St. Armand was standing behind Daphne, smiling down at her, but before she could answer Alexander said, “Mrs. Murray was about to favor me with a dance, Captain St. Armand.”
“I was?”
“Indeed you were,” Alexander said, helping Daphne to her feet.
She cocked her head to the side, listening to the music.
“That music is in waltz time, Dr. Murray. Do you know the waltz? It is my favorite!”
“Then it will be my favorite also.”
Daphne looked up at him as he took her into his arms, a quizzical grin on her face.
“What a charming thing to say, Dr. Murray! I vow, you are becoming quite the gallant.”
Alexander said nothing to this, concentrating on the music.
Yes, he'd waltzed when ashore. On occasion he'd been invited to balls and assemblies, even a surgeon being a useful man to have when the navy was expected to provide gentlemen at entertainments. But he'd never felt the music, the dance had never mattered so much until this moment, aboard this pirate vessel.
He saw Captain St. Armand out of the corner of his eye as he swung Daphne into the dance, a cynical smile playing about the captain's lips. He was competing with Alexander, and Alex wasn't about to back down from that challenge, not when the prize was his to protect.
Castaway Dreams 

Back in the early 19th c., one had to have permission from the patronesses of Almack's to dance the waltz. It was the "twerking" of its day. OK, it wasn't, because it was danced by elegantly dressed men and women who were clothed from their hands to their feet, but you get the idea. It was racy. People danced closely. Men held women in an embrace reminiscent of *koff* other activities. It was no wonder that the older generation raised on minuets raised their lorgnettes in disapproval, while all the cool kids wanted to learn this new dance.

NPR examines the history of the waltz in a very entertaining Morning Edition segment.  Maybe we can start a movement to bring the waltz back into fashion as something all the cool kids are doing.

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