Marianne and her two daughters relocated from Cape Town to Auckland in 1999. After an international career in the Not-for-Profit sector Marianne is now semi- retired enjoying the slow, simple life, seeking to develop her creativity through writing and photography.
My dress was blue, my shoes patent leather shiny red — I was fifteen and ready for my first dancing lesson. The going was tough. I could barely keep my balance on my high heels, but soon the music transported me into a world of swaying, courting, touching .... Whoops! He’d better not come too close and bump against my chest. He might feel the socks in my bra!
I loved the dancing lessons, our first and formal introduction to the dating scene. On one side of the room the boys are fumbling and jostling, looking rather uncomfortable and self conscious in their suits. Opposite us girls, in our finery, giggling and blushing, hoping not to be left sitting when the teacher announces, ‘Please partner up!’
I was lucky, I came with a boyfriend although as it turned out he was totally oblivious of the difference between marching and dancing. So I exchanged him for a boy who was an extremely good dancer, and also very conceited. I didn’t particularly like him but I knew I had the best dancer in the room and definitely made the most of it. He insisted I curtsy before we danced the Wiener Waltz in the final dance competition. We won, but that was the first and last time I curtsied before a boy or anybody else.
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