Viennese Moment

Promotional photo for the film W./E., from the dance scene with Andrea Riseborough and James D’Arcy.

The wedding reception was in a large, bright, high-ceilinged ballroom, filled with flowers and music and excitement and a lot of people, very few of whom I knew. I was there with a girlfriend, all dolled-up in a painted-on little black dress and heels. It was some months since I’d completed my transition.

It was also years since I’d quit dance, and I had no intention of joining the couples on the dance floor. And besides, I wasn’t in a couple. But Tchaikovsky came on and, oh, the Viennese had been my dance. The music pulled at me. I looked around.

He was tall, elegant, came from nowhere, and before I realised what was happening he had my hand and was moving me onto the floor. There was an uncomfortable tension in the first steps as, with a little panic, I tried to read him whilst mirroring my past training. Then I felt it — this man knew how to lead. And all I had to do was relax into him and let go. He held me, my feet carried me.

We were so good. Long, gliding, perfectly synchronous steps — one two three, one two three — his firm right hand supporting me, his left turning me, his eyes holding me, and all I had to do was step back on one. The world turned, other couples made room, and we swept the floor. We were beautiful.

I have never felt what I felt in those four minutes.

When the music ended he drew me in and kissed my cheek…and was gone. I was standing alone on the dance floor. I never saw where he went.

This is #7 in the Transitional Moments series.
Livename, #6: Liverpool Moment, #8: Whispered to an Egg

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