Dave Worthen

2 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Memory of a Slow Dance


When I was in grade school, we had dances in our school auditorium.

Girls on one side sitting in those metal folding chairs.

Boys on the other side.

A record would come on and if it was “boy’s choice” we would rush to go pick a girl to dance with.

Dancing to a “fast song” was relatively easy as everyone just rocked out with their body. 

We looked like spastics, but back then nobody cared.

And nobody blinked an eye when we said the word spastic.

But the very moment the needle hit that 45 and you knew it was a slow song, everything changed.

The whole atmosphere changed.

When you are thirteen-years old the reaction inside your body was something entirely new.

At recess when you saw Cindy at a distance, your young man imagination stirred.

When you and your friends approached her and her friends, every cell in your body acted like they were on speed.

You had to silently talk yourself into just being cool.

Picture a thirteen-year old Joe Cool with three billion cells on speed.


But then you looked at her and she looked back at you and smiled.

Her smile turned all those cells in your body into tiny glowing suns because Cindy liked you.

She liked you.

And you knew immediately you liked her and you could see her cells glow too. 

You weren’t sure what the hell was happening, but you know it felt good.

Almost instantaneous with the first notes of that slow song you were out of your chair nervously walking as fast as you could in a direct bee line to Cindy.

She sees you coming and is absolutely giddy.

You and Cindy also notice other boys zeroing in on her.

She keeps her attention on you.

You make it there just before Steve.

You ask her, “Would you like to dance?”

She shakes her head up and down excitedly.

And then you both walk out into the middle of the dance floor.

This next moment is the first time you’ve ever held a girl.

You are nervous as hell.

Your heart is hammering against your chest so hard you think your rib cage is going to break.

It will be well into the future before you learn what adrenaline is, but right now you know your nervous system is jacked up like too much Mountain Dew.

And then this moment when you actually hold a girl to dance with her?

Just. Crazy. Dizzy. Wonderful.

I reach out with my left hand and take her right hand in mine.

The moment of holding her hand is indescribable.

And then comes the moment of putting my hand on the lower part of her back and bringing her body closer to mine.

Holy Moly.

The small of a girls back is somehow sensual and I didn’t even know what that meant yet.

And as our bodies pressed closer together as we danced, you smelled her hair.

And you distinctly remember her shampoo.

It was like fresh strawberries and cleanliness.

You. Were. In. Heaven.

It was like no other smell you can recall.

It was all girl and young woman and a dream.

There is something that happens when you slow dance with a girl or woman that hasn’t changed in all the decades I’ve slow danced with a woman.

There is an intimacy and elegance that exists in this moment.

For both of you.


Somehow down through time women have been graced with this elegance even as a teen that when they approach a slow dance, it’s as if they knew the unwritten rules from Audrey Hepburn.

From my experience way back then and all the way up to today, this elegance and intimacy when asked to slow dance, transforms the woman into something possibly borne out of Camelot,  the Knights of the Round Table, and the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere.

I don’t know.

But I do know when I asked Cindy to dance it was there.

She enjoyed the slow dance because there is something that transforms both the man and woman in that dance.

Last year I had the chance to slow dance with a woman, a close friend of mine, who had never had a man slow dance with her in public.

We were at a family outing outside where there was music playing, food, and kids going to different booths to play. It was just a really relaxed and pleasant afternoon. A slow song came on and I was moved.

My friend was sitting down working on some crafts for her kids. I reached out and took her right hand with my left hand to lead her in the slow dance. I put my right hand on her lower back, and we danced to the music while people ate and played with their children.

I looked at her as we danced and she was beaming.

I could tell she had not done this before and yet she had no embarrassment while dancing. 

She smiled the smile of a woman that had momentarily stepped into another time.

I could almost read her thoughts. 

Behold, chivalry showed up at this outing today.

I could tell she liked the elegance and intimacy that often is lost in something as simple as a slow dance. And to be honest, she was as elegant as any princess who had a Knight from her court ask her to dance.

The idea of a slow dance may be getting lost in the pace of the world today.

But really, it’s never changed.

The next time you are out with your wife or girlfriend and a slow song comes on, take her right hand and lead her out away from the table or area.

And then put your right hand on the small of her back and dance.

Wherever you are.

Because the memory of a slow dance will last forever.

For you.

And for her.

Dave Worthen

Author. Consultant. International Speaker.

Dave Worthen Books


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CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #9

That is also my intent of learning online but these confluences of intent don't always happen but when they do, I am richer for the dawning. One immediate consequence of placing intimacy on my personal learning radar is seeing how the word popped up in the distinction between good and great photographers. I learned consequently that great photographers incorporate the intimate in their art, which is something I noticed now but not before. Then there was this article about Ansel Adams and his book "Intimate Nature". https://ccp.arizona.edu/study-research/educators/ansel-adams At a visceral viewing of your buzz, what resonated initially is now flowering in new directions, and that is the best part of treating the online space as a learning space - you do not know what opens a new opening or what will emerge or come into view. Of course I also acknowledge that very few people explore or choose perspectives in the way you do, so of course a thank you to you for this piece. If everything in life was transformational, it would render the word transformational meaningless - it is the very next steps we take that makes our personal meaning meaningful or simply a false meandering, which this particular insight about intimacy definitely was not. Kudos.

Dave Worthen

2 years ago #8

Hi Chris \ud83d\udc1d Guest! Thank you very much! I love Richard Thompson! Very few people I know listen to him. Nice to know you do!

Dave Worthen

2 years ago #7

Hi Clau Valerio! Thank you so very much! Greetings to you.:-)))

Dave Worthen

2 years ago #6

Hi CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit Thank you for stopping by and commenting here. I am glad my post opened up a new window. That is the intent of my article.

Dave Worthen

2 years ago #5

Hi Jerry Fletcher! Thank you!

Dave Worthen

2 years ago #4

Hola Lupita \ud83d\udc1d Reyes!!! Thank you very much!!!

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #3

Above all areas of challenge and growth, intimacy is what I see others do and I am limited by the mentality that this is not who I am. My starting point is not here, but more in line with what Mensline Australia write about here https://mensline.org.au/relationship-advice-for-men/men-and-intimacy/ The starting line for me is in the way i grew up and got socialized for more than half a century. That ship is not going to turn in a day but I do understand in late blooming years, the growth that accompanies in a transformation into intimacy. In that regard, my starting line won't be a slow dance, but simply a slow transformation. Intimacy is not something I "got to do", there is no time stamp on this growth, but simply a process of slow evolution. Nor do I look at intimacy as a therapy state, but as an evolution, for me the starting point is simply to enjoy the intimate as it already exists in the other and that is not just looking at how other males look at intimacy, but explore it through advice being given to women also as in this link http://artofintimacy.com/intimacy-for-women/ The very links I have placed here, are links I have looked at for the very first time, and that is the best thing about this, because this is all new to me. The way I have lived my life without ever being intimate is simply how this fish swam upstream, I was exposed to different ways, different reasoning, different measures. Where I am blessed is that in my late choice to be a continuous learner, I began embracing the idea that we learn from people who are most different from us. For me what you have outlined here is a whole new window to look at life and this window is opening in a timely manner - perhaps the right time for it to open.

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #2

Dave. Yes!

Lupita 🐝 Reyes

2 years ago #1

Beautiful, Dave Worthen!!!

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