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Bolero: The excellent adventures of a student supporter (SSP) – Chapter 11

Ah, Bolero.

You played a trick on me, and it was magnificent…

It was a large dance class. Some forty-or-so people. We’d changed partners (and changed partners, and changed partners again). We’d learned new steps (perfect for navigating a crowded dance floor). We’d discovered why leaning forward (or backward) is not a good thing, and why “showing our leg” on the back-step, is.

We’d been flowing like water and gliding like birds for almost an hour. We’d done it to the most glorious, dramatic, funky, and sweeping Bolero songs and now the room was filled with Bolero-angels fluttering all ’round us; their pretty winged selves sprinkling fairy dust everywhere.

The instructor called, “Change partners.”

My new leader stepped up and took my right hand. He put his left hand between my shoulder blades and touched his cheek, to my cheek.
I took his right hand. I put my left hand on his shoulder and touched my cheek, to his cheek.


Still in fairy dust mode, my leader and I closed our eyes and stood perfectly quietly. We waited for the instructor to suggest other Bolero-explorations. And we waited for the music to start.

We stood…

And we waited…


And waited…

When we both felt our (perfectly pleasant) waiting had gone on long enough, we opened our eyes to check on the state of the Bolero-universe. The class had formed a large circle and everyone was holding hands, all set for their next Bolero-exercise. All of them standing, and ready. Except us.

Not one Bolero-phile had been prepared to tap us the shoulder and say, “Ahem.”

The instructor was (very politely) waiting for my leader and I to wake from our Bolero-dreams.

The circle opened for us. We took our places.

My leader blushed. “I’m so embarrassed.”

I took his hand on one side and another leader’s on the other side and giggled like a schoolgirl. Because it wasn’t embarrassing. Not really.

It was just: The Bolero Effect.


Linda Brucesmith is a writer and public relations consultant based in Brisbane. She managed Rio Rhythmics’ marketing from 2003-2008 and has danced with the Academy ever since.

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