Someone once said that music is the food of love and that dance is the essence of romance. I can’t recall who first spoke those sage words of wisdom but I do remember that it was my beautiful wife Emer who first said them to me. Indeed, the floated into my mind as I watched my captivating partner dance around the kitchen one Saturday morning. A smile slowly crept its way up my lips as I looked upon her. Her small bare feet moved seamlessly across the cold tiled floor in time to the lively swing music pulsating from the large radio on the counter.
Her long flowing golden tresses glittered, catching the rays of the morning sun as she glided gracefully across the floor, like a swan on a lake. I watched, mesmerised, as her petite white hands weaved intricate circles above her head in a salute to the rich tones of Howard Keel emitted by the musical device in the room. Her silvery laughter tinkled in my ears, like soft sweet bells, as I watched her dance. Her hazel eyes sparkled with delight as she spun around the room.
“Oh how I love dancing!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms into the air and twirling around.
“Don’t I know it!” I laughed.
Emer stopped twirling and caught hold of my hands. With a swift tug, she pulled me off my chair and led me into the middle of the box-like room. The music on the radio transformed from the jazzy swing number to a soft, slow love ballad. I gently put one hand around Emer’s slender waist and took her left hand in my right. We slowly rotated on the spot to the lilting melody filing our ears. I breathed a sigh of contentment into my wife’s blonde mass of waves as we danced.
This was the way to spend your Saturday morning, dancing in the kitchen with your wife, still in your pyjamas and dressing gown. One of the few simple pleasures in life that I hold dearly to my heart. The love song faded out and was replaced by a much faster jazz dance. Emer, reacting instinctively, broke free from my arms and began tapping her way around the room, echoing the movement of her feet with her hands. I resumed my sitting position on my chair and watched, entranced, as she jazz-kicked and side-stepped her way around the almost claustrophobic kitchen, while cleverly managing to avoid various assorted items of furniture.
“I should have been alive in the days of the musicals, Mattie”, she informed me, still dancing away.
“Oh really?” I replied, my smile growing wider. I had heard this before and I knew what was coming next.
“Yeah. I wish I could have been a musical star like Ginger Rogers, Doris Day or Judy Garland. I would have loved to have been like them!”
“What, you mean dead?”
Emer laughed her tinkling laugh and smiled her infectious smile. “No Matthew!” she chided, playfully slapping my arm. “A star! I’d love to have been a musical star. I can just imagine singing and dancing in all those musicals!”
She released an almost wistful sigh with those words but her smile instantly re-materialised as she once again took up her lively parade through the kitchen. I looked on in wonder as she twirled and leaped and jived a path through the room. I reclined in my chair as I viewed her performance.
“Dance with me Mattie!” she implored, laughter dancing in her eyes.
“Oh no”, I said, shaking my head. “I’m no match for you Doris Day. I’ll leave it to the professionals!”
Emer continued her spirited gallop across the tiles, adding ornamentation and her own unique style to every dance step she had ever learned. As I sat on my perch, observing her delightful antics, I couldn’t help smiling fondly at her. This was my charming, free-spirited and awe-inspiring wife. Here she was, fulfilling her heart’s desire by dancing on the stage that was her kitchen floor with the sun acting as her spotlight.
She was the star of the show, captivating her one-man audience with her every move. I couldn’t suppress the warm glow of pride and admiration I felt as I continued to be her spectator. Doris Day, Ginger Rogers and Judy Garland put together had nothing on my magnificent wife. She was a star, in that moment and every moment before and after. Though Emer mightn’t have been a star of the musical world, she was, without question, the star of mine!
If music is the food of love and dance is the essence of romance, then Emer was the chef that stirred them together in a loving relationship.
She was my partner, my dancer.