Doing Dallas: Howdy, Partner

Each week, this Virginian will try a new Dallasite activity and blog about the experience. If there is one thing you should know about me, it is this: I CANNOT DANCE. Seriously. In high school, I came dangerously close to failing my “Beginning Ballet” course because I could not for the life of me do some syncopated running waltz step thing. The teacher took pity on me, though, and attempted to comfort me by announcing to the class, “It’s alright, Chelsea. Rhythm simply eludes you.” Needless to say, anytime I am presented with the opportunity to showcase my lack of rhythmic talent in front of other humans, I sprint in the opposite direction. I have no idea what came over me, then, this past week when I decided to give Texas two-steppin a try.

We came. We danced. We conquered?

It’s a Good Idea to Know What Two-Stepping Is Before Going Two-Stepping

With my lack of dance skills, I really should’ve seen this one coming. I should’ve watched YouTube videos and practiced dancing with a Swiffer for months within the safe confines of my bedroom. Instead, I threw caution to the wind and prayed that by some miraculous act of God I would step out onto the dance floor and be possessed by the ghost of cowgirls past. I mean, how hard could it be to take two steps?

Well, it turns out that two-stepping actually involves taking three steps—two quick and one slow. WHAT?!? It was the syncopated waltz step thing all over again! Standing on the side of the dance floor in full SOS mode, my Californian friend and I did the only thing we could think of to do: Google “How to Two-Step.” Speed-reading through Wiki-How pages as skilled dancers whirled by, we quickly discovered that a written two-step instructional in no way prepares you to actually two-step.

Two-Stepping Is Like Skiing Backwards

The moment of truth came when I was asked to dance. Though I confessed to my boot-wearin, cowboy-hat-sportin partner that I had never two-stepped before, he assured me it would be fine.

“For girls, it’s just like…skiing backwards. Just glide.”

“Oh. Great,” I lied. See, my skiing skills might be the only thing worse than my dancing skills. The one time I went skiing, I couldn’t figure out how to stop and plowed full force into a security officer at the bottom of a hill. Graceful, I know. While visions of this accident flashed in my head, other thoughts plagued me as well. “Is my arm supposed to be over or under his? What did the Wiki-How say again? Why is he stepping on my feet? Will he be able to tell that I have two packs of gummies in my pocket?”**

Feeling self-conscious, I was acutely aware of the fact that watching me dance was like watching a baby giraffe learn how to walk: unbalanced, wobbly, unsure. After taking an awkward, slow-moving lap around the dance floor, the song that seemed to never end finally drew to a close.

“Thanks. That was fun,” I lied again. I mean, I couldn’t just tell the guy that I’d rather stick bamboo shoots under my fingernails than dance publicly.

“Want to go again?”

“I…I have to…pee,” I lied for a third time, before wiggling off into the welcomed shadows of the sidelines.

** Note: The gummies were a snack I’d forgotten to eat on the car ride over.

Jenna with one of the many Jack Daniels statues.

Thank God for Jack Daniels

Having publicly humiliated myself enough for one night, I decided to call it quits on the whole dancing thing. Observing from the sidelines, though, I noticed some interesting things:

—There were no less than five statues of Jack Daniels scattered throughout the establishment. For this, I now rename Cowboys Red River, “Whiskey Mecca.”

—I saw a man get arrested in the parking lot. The cops threw him against the car and handcuffed him behind his back. I can now sleep easy at night knowing Law & Order accurately portrays an arrest.

—Two separate, 50-plus-year-old men attempted to photobomb our Snapchat pictures. For this, I now re-rename Cowboys Red River, “Senior Men’s Mecca.”

—Mechanical bulls are not just things of movies. They actually exist, and people actually ride them.

The night was a real Texan experience, something I can cross off my bucket list. And, though I’m never gonna dance again, should I ever return—I’ve got my eyes set on that mechanical bull.

Chelsea is a Level 4 improv student at the DCH Training Center. She is obsessed with music of the 60s & 70s and her vices include vanilla lattes and Swedish Fish. You can check out more of Chelsea’s thoughts and ponderings HERE!