Kellie dragged my butt to its first dancing lesson four months ago while we were cruising aboard the Caribbean Princess. There, a pair of energetic, twenty-something dance instructors, Fernando and Isabella, ceaselessly toiled in a hopeless effort to get my hips moving to the rhythm of a salsa beat. They failed. Undeterred by my lack of progress, Kellie made me attend each day’s lesson. After a week of instruction, I successful demonstrated incompetence in the salsa, the rumba, and the cha-cha. So when we embarked on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas, I was fully prepared for a week of ballroom torture.
On Wednesday, the first of six consecutive days at sea, Kellie hauled me off to the Imperial Lounge for an hour of meringue lessons under the sage tutelage of Sam and Joyce, octogenarian dance partners who seemed perilously close to fracturing a hip on the pitching and rolling dance floor. When they could remain upright sufficiently long enough, Sam tried to explain the dance steps. Unfortunately, the sun and saltwater had corroded his memory and he struggled to recall the names of the various dance figures or whether the sequence was a four-step or an eight-step. It hardly mattered; despite six college semesters of linear algebra, calculus, and differential equations, I could’t keep count of the footwork anyway.
By the end of the lesson, I was finally starting to cut loose, maybe a little too loose for Kellie, who was begging me to show some restraint and stop flying around the dance floor and endangering the elderly. As we were leaving, Joyce imparted one final bit of advice, “Just remember,” she said, “keep smiling and keep those hips moving.” If Kellie wants to keep me smiling and my hips moving, she knows exactly what to do.