top of page
Image by Annie Spratt
  • Writer's pictureEthan Voss

The Dance

You could set your watch to it. The doors to the old Chrysler Sebring would lock, a CD would eject and just as quickly be replaced, the engine would finally start, and the voice of George Strait would begin playing, seeping through the front speakers, filling the vehicle. This began every single car ride with my mom from the time I was in a car seat to the day we sold the rusted red metal that carried us to and from the greatest adventures. For some reason, I truly detested country music and found it annoying listening to guys that have probably never worked a day on a farm in their life sing about tractors, dirt, liquor, big trucks, and an overwhelming amount of relationship problems. Maybe it was because I wanted more variety than the same five topics in every single song. Maybe it was because it all sounded the same to me. Or maybe I just wanted to like something different than my mom. I never understood why she liked it, aside from the nostalgia of her good ole’ days at the Guitars and Cadillacs dancing club she used to frequent with my dad.

Even though I tried to teach myself how to play the guitar and learned to drive in my great-grandmother’s Cadillac, the flame of country music was still yet to be ignited within me. As I narrowed down my college decision to Union University in the heart of West Tennessee my hesitation rested in the fact that one out of every three students I met on Instagram possessed the title of ‘aspiring country music artist’ in their bio. While I told myself I would continue to avoid the twang of a guitar and the quick pace of a violin, I began to fall hard especially when I missed home. With each drive between Kansas and Tennessee, familiar voices such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, and Alabama began to sneak their way into my travel playlist as Spotify began to assume that I was beginning to like country music.

As my girlfriend, Grace, and I sat on the couch of our rental condo in silence this past Christmas, I dug deeper into the good ole’ days my mom speaks so fondly about. It blew my mind to learn that people would actually go and dance in a coordinated way more than just jumping up and down in a big blob that I see at every college formal or party. My mom talked about things like line dances and the two-step which I was pretty sure had to do something with the cowboy boogie. Quickly disappointment set in on her face as I failed to remember the country music education I received as a child. Since comprehension was at an all-time low, I asked my mom if she could show me what the two-step looked like. As she walked me through each step with many laughs and stepped-on toes, my mind was instantly reminded of the moments spent in our kitchen dancing to a CD player that sat on the island by the fridge. It was just like I was a kid again standing on my mom’s feet on the hardwood floor of our house as she led us in a circular motion to each beat of “Ocean Front Property.” Apparently, my performance was subpar as my dad intervened and claimed my dance partner for himself. Time stopped as I watched my parents seem like kids again, laughing and joking while dancing around the living room of the condo. Complaints of knee pain and back soreness were nowhere to be found and quickly I found myself offering my hand to Grace to join in the party.

When the lights finally went out and my parents retired for the evening, Grace and I snuck back to the peaceful living room to try to replicate the dance my parents displayed for us. In the dimly lit room, we attempted to keep our laughter to a quiet minimum while we ran into furniture and got horribly offbeat to the same tune that filled the room earlier in the evening. There is something incredibly special about sharing a dance that is more than jumping up and down. It requires a willingness to be on the same page with someone and to be in sync with their movements even when you are as uncoordinated as I am when it comes to busting a move. There are times to lead and there are times to follow, carefully looking out for your partner to be there for them while not stepping on their toes. Seeing my parents share a dance reminded me that Grace and I are living in our good ole’ days and that each new day is a blessing that we will talk about years down the road. While sometimes it scares me and I deny that it could ever happen, I recognize that I become more and more like my parents each day as I navigate this journey of life.

This week as I pushed every button in Grace’s car much to her annoyance, a disc popped out of the dark sliver above her radio. It was a collection of John Denver’s greatest country hits, the one collection I would select if I could have any record of my choice. While she claims to have no idea how or when it got in her car, I was overcome with joy. I have never used a CD before in my vehicle but now every time I get in my car, the doors lock, the engine starts, and the voice of John Denver begins playing, seeping through the front speakers, filling my vehicle as a new adventure begins.

20 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page