The Last Waltz by Clarence F. Underwood, 1912
As much as My Fiancé and I enjoy high culture, we are not great dancers. One would think, a musician like My Fiance would have the basis to be a wonderful dancer. Untrue. Perhaps, one would assume since both of us have Latin blood running through our veins and a bi-cultural upbringing, would enhance our propensity for dance. Also, untrue. My Fiancé is not comfortable on the dance floor. While I may be initially more graceful than he, I have difficult with parts of music and dance, such as being “on beat.” This mainly stems from my “deafness” and lack of obsessive interest in music in general. As for my Latin roots, both my cousins and mother have bemoaned my “white hips.” Exclaiming such statements, “Just do not stand there! Move your hips!—-Geez, not like that! You look like you are having a seizure!” –Some people are so difficult to please.
While I took tap dance as a child, I certainly did not like performing in front of others and used every excuse in the book to miss the big show. I loved the costumes! I did not like the entire room looking at me. I always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance and thought perhaps if my cousins had Quienceneras, I might learn how to waltz if part of the Court. It turns out none of my fourteen cousins had the Sweet 15 party, so I never did learn to waltz.
Now, I have my chance! I am very excited! As per my request when we were courting, My Fiancé composed our First Dance song. He won’t reveal the title, but I have heard it and it is lovely! It incorporates seven instruments including the beloved violin.
We actually know two chorographers, but decided to go with his friend. Mrs. Lee actually happened to be there the night My Fiancé and I first met, so she has a special place in our love story. My Fiancé has sent her the music and I have contacted her regarding particulars. I desired a form of a Waltz because it is the Victorian thing to do, but also because we will be honeymooning in the home country of the Waltz. I informed her my dress is not “flowy” so leg movements will not be visually enhanced. My bodice is off the shoulder, which might restrict certain arm movements. The dance floor at the venue is not square but shaped like a rectangle. Most importantly, I want drama to the moves. I adore the sexual tension and grace in the dance scenes from Keira Knightly’s version of Anna Karenina and Catherine Zeta-Jones’ turn with Antonio Banderas in the Mask of Zorro. My Fiancé is not as enamored with the “weird hand thing” of Anna Karenina, but there are moves in both dances he likes. Granted, I am not sure what those moves are . . . We have not seen our chorography yet and we are waiting for My Fiancé to recover a bit from his knee surgery before we start “hopping around.”
Mrs. Lee will also be choreographing the fun father-daughter dance. When I was little I wanted a slower song, but my father is Cryer. A very BIG Cryer, so I thought perhaps if we had a more upbeat song, he would not be using my dress as a handkerchief for his tears. He is actually a ham in front of crowds and has no shame, really. He also has the stereotypical “White man” dance skill, but he always has fun and that is really all that matters. We are still deciding on the song so we can bust a move.
My Fiancé revealed recently there will be a third dance Mrs. Lee is choreographing. Some mysterious dance. He said it is not a dance the groomsmen will do, because I mentioned he and his buddies could do something silly together. I also suggested hiring dancers for a special flamenco bit. I have no idea what the mysterious third dance will be. For all I know it could be another Waltz . . . between My Fiancé and my brother. I wonder if My Fiancé is composing the music for this mysterious dance . . . .?
As much as I loathe the comparison, the Waltz was the “twearking” of the 19th century. Like most dance crazes, the waltz came from streets of the ghetto or in this case the German/Austrian peasant country. It was considered obscene for the time, as it was a dance between one woman and one man, facing each other, touching, in close proximity, twirling like a dervish in glee in full view of everyone. The shame of it all! Might as well have sex on the hardwood for all the indecency. Prior to the waltz during the Regency period, group dances were the norm. These dances were very similar to square dancing of the American Country Western Music variety. Needless to say the Waltz caught on and swept over Europe, with each country adopting nuanced moves. For example, the Viennese Waltz is rather spirited and fast, with the British version is slower and more restrained. Our wedding waltz will be uniquely ours and I would have it no other way.