The Dance Teacher

The Dance Teacher

The Dance Teacher

A writer decides to take up salsa and falls for his temperamental dance teacher, leaving him wondering whether he is actually in love, or simply infatuated with the idea of being in love. A somewhat comedic look at the foibles of two artists, struggling with their demons as they dance their way through a myriad of nuances and mixed signals.

Her name is Jenny Levina, and she is beautiful. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with her, but she had more issues than a French automobile. She is a spectacular dancer. We didn’t dance together for very long. She met some guy and moved down to Florida to open her own dance studio.

I guess things didn’t work out so well, because a year later she moved back to New York, and was teaching private lessons. At the time I was down and out, so I called her and told her about my situation. She said to meet her at Penn Station. She took me grocery shopping and bought me two weeks worth of food. Very few of my friends would do that for me.

She had found another man, so I sort of let things drop. It didn’t take me long to get back on my feet, so I approached her about private lessons. We started dancing again, only this time I was improving rapidly. I honestly thought I was past my feelings for her, but they crept back into my heart like a thief in the night.

Jenny’s boyfriend was a Cuban immigrant. She told me she had just finished her first novel about the The Cuban War of Independence of 1895, and she asked me if I would read it.  I was flabbergasted and honored. Jenny didn’t share her writing with anyone, but then she had a lot of respect for my work.

I always knew that Jenny was a talented writer. I knew it in my bones like I know when it’s about to rain. That’s how much I believed in her.  As I started the first chapter, I was dazzled by her brilliance. Her simple, elegant style was never betrayed by her excellent word choices. Each sentence flowed like water into paragraphs that cascaded into a waterfall of wondrous descriptions and convincing dialogue.  I read the book in one sitting.

It needed serious developmental editing. There were major gaps in the plot line and the structure was a bit too loose. I called her to say that I wanted to work with her on the book. She agreed.

Well, by that time, I was head over heels in love with her, and I could not contain my feelings. When I told her, she freaked out. She just didn’t love me. The situation was horrible. I was in so much pain, and, needless to say, she was terribly uncomfortable.

As it turns out, Jenny and her boyfriend decided to move back down to Florida. Jenny hates the cold; she can’t tolerate winter emotionally and physically. Most likely I will never see her again, but I think about her often.

I still love her. I guess I always will.

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