Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Time of Your Life


I’ve been thinking about Patrick Swayze this morning.

Bear with me.

You see, he wasn’t so much of an actor as he was a dancer. When he hit the stage or the floor, he was in his element. He was graceful.

I hit the ground this morning. Not running. More falling. It involved a huge spider at eye level, a garbage bag and Crocs. That’ll teach me to wear Crocs even for mucking about.

As many of you may recall, I was an Arthur Murray dance instructor for a couple of years right out of college (“No experience necessary!” It appealed to the English Lit major in me.) And during that time, my posture was amazing. I was thin (I danced about ten miles a night 5-6 nights a week and I was all of 22 years old.) And for three years I didn’t bump into a thing. I knew where my center of balance was and how to move. It was great.

Part of looking good in your clothes involves your posture and how you hold yourself. And for the crash course, I cannot recommend highly enough a few sessions of ballroom dancing. Once you get over the threshold of the door, you will be amazed at the change that it can make in how you see yourself and how well you move.

It’s always nice to know that you can get around a dance floor no matter what kind of music they’re playing. I love a good Foxtrot and always have a chance to use the basic steps. Give it a try. You may wind up having the time of your life.

21 thoughts on “The Time of Your Life

  1. I understand. Sorry about your boo boo. Patrick and I am the same age(even though many say I look younger than that) Reality check though and yes, when I find myself slouching I pull up straight and hold my head up, feel so much better.

  2. The little ballroom dance class we took at the local community center was a real delight for me. I only know a couple of steps but you get real notice when you can dance a bit and are less than 60. A little less anyhow.


  3. Cheers for dancing! Have you ever run into anyone who is grumpy while dancing–I can’t imagine. It is a happy pastime and gets everyone off their seats (literally and figuratively). We have been members of a dancing club since about 1992–meets three times a year (October, January, April or May), and consists of cocktail hour, a sit down dinner where couples draw for their table, and then at about the moment dessert is placed on the table, the band/orchestra begins. No speeches, no silent auctions, no toasts, no contributions–pure fun evening out. Black tie, of course. Cocktail dresses for the ladies allowed for the Fall and Spring dates; gowns for January. Not sure why? Always held at the same country club, but does not consist solely of club members. There is a lot to be said for continuity–the dancing club has been going since the 30’s.

  4. Paula, that is the best thing I’ve heard today.

    Mr. Lane. Good for you for holding up the side!

    Karena, it’s sad, I have to remind myself to stand straight these days.

    CL, when that goes…. whew, what a world it will be.

  5. Embarrassing but true HOBAC. They hose clean; I use them for yard work, taking out the garbage. Easier to slip into than the combat boots. But not as safe when weedwhacking. They live outside.

  6. Paula,

    What a wonderful organization you belong to! How I wish there were one like it here, but being as I am in the People’s Republic of Mexifornia, no doubt “formal” would be interpreted as “clean, holeless T-shirts and shorts.”

    I actually attracted the notice of my wife-to-be with my posture at a salsa dance club. She thought I was a professional dancer! Good posture makes all the difference in the image one projects.

    I love to dance–folk, ballroom, salsa–and have noticed that the ladies really like a man who can dance. Our children have the dance bug (jitterbug? 😉 too, so we’ll be passing it on to the next generation. Besides, dance instruction makes good training for ladies and gentlemen.

  7. Such an interesting and novel concept…exercise that is fun! I gave up the gym years ago. Couldn’t abide the dullness of it. Dancing, and many other activities such as skating or rollerblading, or evening bowling, can improve posture, pulse rate, blood pressure etc., but lack the mind numbing repetition and stale air of the gym. Wouldn’t you rather bicycle down a country road than be crammed with bimbos wearing synthetic lycra and listening to rat music full of profanities? Whenever I question, “Whatever happened to style and decency?” I just look to Easy, Elegant Life…an island of gentility and civility in a culture that looks less civilized every day.
    Square with Flair

  8. I took dancing lessons while in the fifth and sixth grades. Blue blazer, grey flannels and rules of etiquette that have served me well to this day. Ahh the ladies love a man who knows what he’s doing on the dance floor. An invaluable lesson.

  9. To Mr. E and your readers,

    Thank you for your kind comments and enthusiasm for our dancing club. Should anyone be interested in gathering their friends and organizing one, I am happy to share logistics.

  10. Funny post! I took dancing lessons in 4th and 5th grade. Phil Jones in CT… very strict. Maybe a curtsey in crocks would have helped with the spider dance!

  11. I think it difficult to do anything but smile when you’re gliding across the floor. And now with the image of Crocs possibly matched with tails, I’m literally giddy all over.

    Thank you gentlemen (E & HOBAC) for that delightful repartee.

  12. Post Script: to stand in the wet grass at my daughter’s school this morning, I chose the LL Bean duck boots. Still can’t roll my sleeve down past my elbow. If only Le Chameau Chasseur’s weren’t so expensive. But then I’d be forced to commission some plus twos in tweed…

  13. I actually have a pair of Le Chameau’s, and if you amortize the cost over several years, and they do last for a lifetime, they become quite affordable. Certainly a better investment than expensive sweaters that lose their shape after a few seasons! The zippers on the Chameau’s are so heavy-duty that I have to wax them occasionally to get them to go up and down. Indestructible, and perfect for all of the yard and garden tasks, not to mention washing the dog’s paws before he comes into the house. I have also been known to put them on over a pair of jeans, cords, or leggings for running errands on a rainy day. Go for the Le Chameau’s. But nothing beats a pair of cheap plastic slip-on shoes for hot days and quick steps in and out of the yard. So really, a person needs both. But the Chameau’s don’t live in the garage. They live in the powder room.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.