About a month ago I started taking a class at this cute little dance studio one town over. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I've really enjoyed it so far. Each class is different, so if I have to miss one for an assignment, I don't have to worry about catching up on what I missed.
The classes are being held at the local YMCA over the summer while the new studio is being renovated. So last night I strolled into the Y for my first class there and asked a woman at the front desk to point me in the right direction.
Before she could finish pointing out which way to go, a young man, who I swear materialized out of nowhere beside me, shouted "I'll show her!" and bounded toward the stairs like a puppy, looking back to see if I followed.
As we chatted on our way up the stairs, It became clear that he was maybe a little developmentally delayed.
As soon as the music started, it also became clear that he is, without a doubt the most joyful dancer I have ever seen. Although he wasn't necessarily getting the steps down, he was damn sure moving and grooving.
Now, I always enjoy the dance class. I feel fairly energetic and by the end I've usually loosened up enough to really let myself go and enjoy.
This class was different. it was like he stepped in and gave us all permission to relax and laugh and have a little more fun. His enthusiasm was just so infectious.
Every time there was a lull in the music, all you could hear was "bahTAH ba ba!" as he scatted along, with the occasional "Yahoo!" thrown in for good measure. I had to give up on suppressing the giggles that were almost constantly bubbling up happily from my stomach, and when our eyes met in the mirror, he just laughed right along with me.
It was like someone came into the room and set up a bubble machine or upturned a box of fuzzy, playful kittens. Sure it was just this side of ridiculous, but you'd have been hard pressed not to feel just a little delighted.
And then, just when I thought I couldn't be any more entertained, I glanced over during our water break to see him reach into his little backpack and pull out, not a water bottle, but a pair of gold shoes.
He sauntered proudly over, looking at me, and down at his shoes. "What do you think of my shoes?" he asked.
"I think your shoes are amazing!" I replied.
"Yeah, they used to be my school gym sneakers" He shot me a look like, can you believe it? "But I spray painted them gold."
"Well they look great!" I smiled.
"Yeah, my nickname's Funboy. And I sell t-shirts."
For a second, the universe made sense.