Throwback to November 5, 2015, the original publication date of There’s No Farting in Ballroom.
I had been dancing pro-am with my then-23-year-old instructor/partner for 10 months. We were working hard to prepare for my first Ohio Star Ball. There was no farting in ballroom then. There is no farting in ballroom now and there never will be farting in ballroom.
WARNING: If you are offended by bodily functions, you may want to skip today’s post. Carry on. There’s nothing for you here.
If you’re a fan of The Dancing Housewife, you know I spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that my pro-am partner, Newell, is significantly younger than me. You’d think after lessons, training and competing with him for nearly a year, I’d be over it. I’m not.
Not to harp, but you’ve got to admit in normal social situations there’s something slightly (very) creepy (predatory) about dancing with a guy 30 years your junior who is not a) your son, b) the best man at your son’s wedding or c) your nephew. You know I’m right.
Even though the young teaching pro-old hag student dynamic is common in competitive ballroom circles, I struggle with it. No matter how I attempt to rationalize it, it still feels a bit uncomfortable (extremely awkward). I respect Newell’s knowledge and authority as my coach and teacher, but I can’t get past the fact that I’m old enough to be his …ahem…older sister.
The only saving grace is that our pro-am partnership has grown into a completely normal and socially acceptable off-the-dance-floor filial relationship. Thanks to the age disparity, I’ve become something of a maternal figure to Newell. He seeks my wisdom and guidance (not really) and I offer advice (typically unsolicited) just like I do with my own sons. And just like with my own sons, it pleases me to witness and even play some role, however small, in Newell’s path to maturity.
I recently witnessed one such display of maturity during a smooth lesson in which Newell was addressing heel lead by way of a series of drills. Anyway, I was wearing 2.5 inch high-heel smooth shoes and as I sloppily dragged one foot across the floor, it made a fart noise. I swear it was my shoe. Anyway, it startled both us both and I probably looked something like this when it happened…
or possibly like this…
…because, no matter how you slice it, fart noises are inherently funny. Don’t roll your eyes and pretend to be above thinking fart noises are funny like you’re the Queen of England or something. You know I’m right. And I know you know I’m right, but whether you are willing to acknowledge the inherent humor associated with fart noises or not, it’s important to note THERE’S NO FARTING IN BALLROOM.
When this fart noise episode happened, albeit comical, my initial impulse was to be embarrassed. What if Newell thought I actually farted mid-lesson? I immediately attempted to recreate the sound with my shoe as proof that I had not farted and it was, indeed, my shoe while simultaneously screaming, “It was my shoe! See… listen… it was my shoe! I swear! It was my shoe!”
As you would expect, I started laughing uncontrollably because now I’m purposely making fart noises with my shoe over and over again and like I said earlier, no matter how you slice it, fart noises are inherently funny. I laugh harder because Newell, being a consummate dance professional, is NOT LAUGHING because, as previously stipulated, THERE’S NO FARTING IN BALLROOM.
Although I try, I cannot stop laughing because even if THERE’S NO FARTING IN BALLROOM what 24-year old guy doesn’t think fart noises are funny? Newell is just standing there, emotionless, a stone cold sober look on his face and all I can think is seriously, dude, who doesn’t laugh at fart noises?
After a few seconds, Newell, who is now staring at me with an expression of utter disbelief, says sternly, “What are you twelve?” and in the midst of my escalating hysteria, I momentarily stop laughing. It occurs to me that when when it comes to fart noises, Newell – who is 3 decades my junior – is more mature than I am. I allow myself a brief moment of pride which I plan to share with his entire stable of pro-am ladies… our Newell is growing up… before I start laughing again. Eventually, Newell resigns himself to accomplishing nothing in the remaining five minutes of my lesson.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Fart noises bridge generation gaps and if I forget the Beano, I can blame it on my shoe.
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