So you think you can dance…a tale about online-offline dissonance

All I wanted was to dance with my husband. Nothing fancy- just shuffle around the dance floor. I knew he would never agree if I asked him about it, so I signed us up for a class at a nearby community center without asking him. He was livid, but I held firm. He pleaded, and I pleaded right back. We went for the class. But I was the one who walked out first.

I had signed up online based on the information provided on the website. “Saturday, 8.30-9.30, Beginner’s Ballroom Dance”, it said. I filled in the registration form and paid the money online. Then we went for the class. Poor guy actually got off a flight from Bangkok that evening and still dragged himself along with me. It was weird. When we got there, it was like walking into the middle of a class. Everyone was Chinese (not that that in itself was a bad thing, but everyone stared at us like we had daisies growing out of our heads or something) and the instructor just ignored us as he minced around the room trying to look sophisticated (phew- trying to write objectively when you are annoyed is VERY hard!).

So anyway this lady came up to us and suggested we might like to join the 7.30 class instead. Apparently the 7.30 class segues into the 8.30 one, because it’s all the same people doing both. And get this: all of ¬†them were not beginners. But why, I asked (as you might expect), did they then call the class a beginner’s class? Are you ready for the answer?

Because it was the beginner’s syllabus, but all the people there were doing it for the second time. They had gone through one whole round and then wanted to do the same thing ALL OVER AGAIN! But okay- they were all older people, and maybe they just needed a refresher, or maybe they were afraid to go on to the next stage. I don’t want to judge.

The point is that this should have been reflected on the website! How smoothly they took my money, as though everything were part of a well-oiled machinery. Online I looked all set to put on my dancing shoes and be swept off my feet by my husband. Offline I was the one who swept him off his feet- right out of the class I yanked him. We were going home.

He took pains to remind me that he had come along, and that I had walked out. I am SO going to be asking for my money back.

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