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Revelations: 1, 2, 3, dance

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
July 1, 2011 at 2:01 a.m.
Updated July 2, 2011 at 2:02 a.m.

Jennifer Preyss

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure (and yes, it really was a pleasure) to attend a seniors polka dance in DaCosta for an assignment I was working on. As I entered the dim-lighted dance hall, I immediately scanned the long dance floor.

At least three or four couples, more than 20 years older than my parents, were spinning and twirling around the hardwood floor; their faces lit up like I’ve never seen on a group of senior citizens.

I stood and watched the dancing couples for a minute, hoping in my old age I’d be the kind of lady who desires to get all gussied up in frilly dresses and high heels and let my man twirl me around a dance floor.

After initial introductions to the Polka and Waltz Dance Club ladies I was there to interview, I walked around the dance hall chatting with some of the dancers. It didn't take long for me to realize when a person enters a polka dance, they're required to get on the floor.

"Here's your partner, he's going to show you how to polka," one of the dance organizers said to me, approaching me from behind.

Recoiling a bit at the surprise attack, I responded, "Uh ... Uh ... I really, really, really, don't know how to do it."

I thought my explanation would suffice, but as I continued to resist, I found myself being drug out to the dance floor and taking the polka position.

"1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3 ... that's it, there you go," my dance partner said to me.

Oddly, as I stared down at our feet moving at the same time (and in the right order) I realized I was smiling ear-to-ear. Not only was I getting the hang of the polka, I was actually enjoying myself.

With my press badge swinging all over the place, and my cowboy boots doing the best they could to keep up with my new polka dancing friend, I moved across the floor feeling quite proud of myself for picking up the steps so quickly.

When the song ended, and I realized how out of shape I was, several onlookers came to greet me, praising my novice polka dancing abilities.

"You did great. Was that really your first time?"

Somewhat breathy, I said, "Yeah ... and it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be."

I thanked my polka partner and praised him for his excellent teaching skills, then continued on in my reporting assignment.

Later, when we drove back to Victoria, I imagined myself as an 80-something lady.

I asked myself if I wanted to be the kind of woman who gets old and turns into a moo-moo wearing homebody? Or if I wanted to be the kind of woman who puts on makeup and nice dresses and goes out dancing?

Who knows if I'll actually live to be an old woman. That's up to God to decide. But the seniors at the polka dance reminded me how much fun it can be to grow old.

They also reminded me how important it is to dance when someone invites you on the dance floor (of life) because you just might pick up the steps a little easier than you think.

And I, for one, want to exit this world with a smile on my face and my skirt spinning in the air.

Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jlpreyss@vicad.com.

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