How do you surprise a spouse on her special birthday? Well, why not deliver something she least expects – simple, right?The idea came to me pretty quick as most good ideas should. Once the thought entered my head, I couldn’t think of anything Erin would like more… or expect less.
Though I tried to brainstorm something better and get myself off the hook, I presented Erin with 5 weeks of beginner ballroom dance lessons.


Even better: Latin ballroom dance


Erin likes to ask me to dance at weddings and other formal occasions. I oblige of course with a head nod and toe tap to the music while cozied up to the bar. Doesn’t really do it for her.

Dancing is a tough sell for me now that I’m married and don’t have to in order to woo Erin.
The route of my hesitation?
– I’m 6’4″ and a little awkward… ok, maybe a lot awkward.
– I’m not a big fan at being really bad at something in public.
– Once trained, I’d have no excuse to do my cozy-up-to-bar trick at weddings.

But, hey, if Ian Ziering can do it…

So, for anyone with a similar fate, here are some things you should know going in.

First rule of dance class: You do not talk about dance class
– Well, so much for that. This blog must be my public cry for help. Your guys friends will make fun of you, and rightfully so.

Second rule of dance class: If it is your first night of dance class, you must dance!
– But don’t plan on sharing your embarrassment with your one trusted ally for all 60 minutes of musical mayhem. That’s right, you rotate among the whole group, dancing with one and all. Be prepared; shared misery makes the heart grow fonder. (Good news – everyone is too preoccupied with themselves to concentrate on what you’re doing or why you continually step on the big toe.)

Third rule of dance class: Bring a sweat rag
– Dudes like me sweat as the slightest physical exertion in a still room. Strangers don’t like to touch sweaty strangers. Is it just coincidence that one female has yet to return after witnessing droplets of sweat dangle and fall off my ear lobe as we hacked through some Rumba? Honestly, I didn’t want to return either.

Fourth rule of dance class: Hold the onion
– Please watch the lunch, people. We’re breathing the same air here.

Fifth rule of dance class: Don’t watch yourself in the mirror
– You only thought you were confused with the steps until you looked up and followed the guy in the mirror. Blind can’t lead the blind, pal.

Sixth rule of dance class: Bribe yourself
– If I go back to dance class we can walk across the street for some Blue Goose brisket tacos and margaritas. Works every time.

Seventh rule of dance class: Stick with it
– You know, week one tested my will. I was really dreading round 2. But once we rolled in a couple of strange things happened. 1. Several people dropped out from week 1, making me an immediate champion. Score! 2. The steps seemed to go better together the second time. And even better the third.

I’m no Travolta yet, but at this pace…

Seriously though, I’m finding myself having fun with it. Erin and I are having laughing all the way through – what better birthday present is there than quality time and new adventures. Life’s a Trip, you know.