Ballroom Prophetess

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Coming Out

It’s finally time for me to come out!  I admit and take ownership.  No longer will I be embarrassed by who I am.

Am I gay?  Nope.  Though, I do have many good friends who are gay.

Have I left the Mormon church?  Nope.  Yes, I do have many good friends who have made the choice to leave.

Do I . . . . ?   Hold your horses!!!  I’ll get there.

Secrets

For several years, I’ve been engaged in a hidden activity known only to my immediate family members; wife and later the kids.  I was assiduous in concealing it from my wider sphere of family, friends and acquaintances.  Fortunately, those who knew of my frequent furtive festivity, seldom even whispered of it.  A blessing, indeed.  I wasn’t ready for the world to know.

How often have friends regaled with their exotic exploits. Marathons & mountain climbing, fishing & flying, travel & triathlons, biking & backpacking, golf & guns.  Some hobbies are pursued with wealth.  But, mine was always pursued in stealth.

Here Goes . . .

BALLROOM DANCE.  Ok, I’ve said it.  I’m exhaling with a big sigh of relief.  Now you know. And,  I no longer need to hide my surreptitious avocation.

For the past several years, I’ve taken ballroom dance lessons.  It’s challenging, fun and a great diversion. I love the music and the movement.  Frustration, when I don’t understand and can’t get it.  Exhilaration, when comprehension and competence finally come.  Last year, I entered my first dance competition.  Kind of scary.  Dancing in approximately 60 entries, I was a bit overwhelmed. Waltz, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, quickstep and tango. Emotions all over the place.  From, embarrassment, I’m going to quit, I hate my teacher . . to . . electrifying thrill!  A level of euphoria that I have not felt since my teenage years.

Last Saturday was competition #2.  This time, my better judgment, now colored with experience, kept me to a modest 20 entries.  Emotions only ran on the side of, “Oh man, this is so fun.”  Here’s a video of 2 heats, a waltz and foxtrot.

The Prophetess

Of course, ballroom dance requires instruction.  Instruction requires an instructor.  I have a great one!  All wrapped up together, she is . . . trainer, coach, guide, tutor, mentor & drillmaster.  But, most important, she is a Prophetess.  At least to me.

I just read the paragraph above to my daughter and she asked, “What does that mean?  It sounds like you are in love with her.”  I’m not.  She is 30 years my younger and a good friend to my wife and kids.  In fact, my daughters question reveals just one type of judgment I’ve sought to avoid by not openly discussing my sport of choice.

But, what does it mean that she is a prophetess?

Well, in my church there are 15 men we sustain as prophets.  We look to them for direction on many/most of life’s matters.  When they speak, we listen.  Not only listen, but we obey. “It’s not mine to reason why, mine is but to do and . . . ”  We are to follow the prophet, even if he is wrong.  And . . . no criticism allowed.

Ok.  I recognize that the comparison of my teacher to the prophets is not completely parallel.  But, last Saturday, something happened that caused me to spot a similarity.  My 20 heats were about to start.  For the next couple of hours, I would be totally occupied with the competition.  Anticipation, electricity, excitement swirled in my mind.  My teacher brought all of my wondering awe to an abrupt halt with 2 clear commands, “Sam, how long has it been since you went to the bathroom?”  Methinks, ‘What kind of a question is that to ask a 63 year old adult.’  Me-speaks, “I’m not sure.”  Teacher, “I want you to go the bathroom.  While you’re there, blow your nose.”  Obediently, Sam immediately complied. For good measure, I even washed my hands.

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No Comparison

It’s true that I have had concerns about openly discussing my ballroom dance adventure. Mostly, because it seemed wimpy in comparison to Iron Man exploits.  Plus, it opens me to a judgmental society.

I have personally seen the struggles of gay people and non-believing Mormons coming out to the world.  For many/most/all, it’s excruciatingly painful.  Fraught with judgment, confusion, anger, sadness, depression, loss and shunning.

Oh, how I wish it didn’t have to be this way.  Things are changing.  Changing for the better.  The time will come when all Comings-Out will be as benign as that of a Ballroom Dancer.

17 thoughts on “Ballroom Prophetess

  1. Congrats on coming out Uncle Sam!!! We are proud of your ability to let others into your thoughts and life. We all love you.

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    1. That’s a great relief. Thanks for your confidence and acceptance. Of course, it means the world to your uncle. And your love . . . Man, that just makes my day. We’re sitting here with Amy and her 3 kids eating Chinese food. They met your twin in D.C. a couple of months ago. Time for them the meet his twin. BTW, at least one of the twins has gone ga-ga for Trump. That’s you, right? I’m pretty sure Andrew is rooting for Hillary.

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      1. I talk to Nicole about Houston and Galveston all the time. So yeah, we want to visit Houston in the near future. As for politics I think Trump and Sanders both brought up some important issues. I don’t like how Trump says whatever he thinks he needs to say to get elected. All politicians do it but Trump’s platform as an outsider who is shaking things up should be different than the status quo. However, I think I would vote for him in the general election in order to get more conservative supreme court appointee(s). I am not a political snob, like many, who say voting for the lesser of two evils is not a valid argument. I do think you’re mistake – Andrew is the biggest Trump fan – like YUGE fan.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment and especially the encouragement to continue. Since I ran into you at Towne Center, have you continued dance?

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  2. We all secretly want to glide across a dance floor. I bought Chuck and I a ballroom dance CD with the red footprint diagrams. We practiced in secret for hours ….. and he didn’t obey me. I cajoled. He listened. I modeled the moves. He tried. I led (even though it’s not a woman’s place.) We laughed. We burned some calories. We resembled a demolition derby.

    I do believe that dancing is healthier than Lean Cuisines and maybe Chuck would have tried harder with a lovely instructor such as your prophetess. I still desire to glide…..

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    1. The secret to ballroom success is for the man to lead, and then to follow whenever the woman decides to lead. Just like in every good marriage. Another hint: before you start dancing, ask Chuck, “When was the last time you went to the bathroom?” Have him blow his nose and you’ll be on your way to championship dancing.

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  3. My daddy taught me a lot about “going with the flow” and following him. Larry and I enjoy dancing, but now he has to keep ahold of me or I’ll fall!! He was better at learning the steps and various moves than I was (that was before my stroke) when we took a class together — I can lead sometimes, huh? I’ll remember that, and be sure to tell Larry…hahaha! Good job, Sam! And your prophetess did a great job of working with you, and she looked fabulous, too. All the best to you and yours!

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    1. So, nice to hear from you. I’m super happy that you can dance, after your stroke. Most people can’t dance who’ve never had a stroke. All my best to you, Larry and your kids. BTW, have any of them turned sweet 16 yet?

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  4. I have been a clutz my entire life and so I am so impressed with what you have accomplished. You looked Ma-vee-lous out there. Keep Up the good work. It is so beautiful to watch this type of dancing. When I was a student at BYU almost 50 years ago, I was asked out one evening by a member of the Ballroom Dance Team. Dinner and dancing at the top of the Wilkinson Center. I told him that I didn’t dance, but he insisted he could teach me. I wore a beautiful white silky dress with white ostrich feathers around the hem and white high heels. We had a lovely dinner and then the music started. It took me about 30 seconds to get my heel stuck in the shoe of another dancer and we fell to the floor. I managed to twist both of our ankles. It wasn’t a pretty sight. That was my first and last date with that fine gentleman.

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