Ladies and gentlemen

An enduring, and endearing, feature of our lessons in ballroom dancing is our teacher’s method of sorting out the sexes before teaching us new steps or reminding us of the ones we should know.


Our dancing teacher’s methods are effective and unique:
Before she gets you dancing with your partner, cheek to cheek,
She will call you all to order with her mantra, thus enshrined:
“Let’s have the ladies in the front, and the gentlemen behind.”

In the Quickstep, Waltz and Tango her persistence knows no bounds
As, step by step, you hear her making reassuring sounds.
But when your back arm droops and the steps go from your mind:
“Let’s have the ladies in the front, and the gentlemen behind.”

In the Cha-Cha-Cha and Rumba, and the Samba and the Jive,
You bounce and sway and jig about. Oh boy, you feel alive!
Until your feet get tangled and your bodies misaligned . . .
“Let’s have the ladies in the front, and the gentlemen behind.”

I do wonder if these constant segregations by our gender
Are symptoms of a Women’s Lib alternative agenda;
Is her message, subtly coded, “Mother Nature has designed
That we ladies stay in front, and you gentlemen behind”?

Of course, it’s not; although I have a funny sort of feeling
That Equal Opportunities would find this case appealing.
Their judgement would be written with these words red-underlined:
Half the ladies in the front, and half the gentlemen behind”.

But that would cause confusion as we chassé round the hall.
Let the status quo remain, it’s what we’re used to, after all.
We’ve lived with it for years now, so we’re really quite resigned;
Let’s keep the ladies in the front, and the gentlemen behind.

[Photo: dehavillanddanceclub.co.uk]
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