“It’s happening, I am dancing, “ I thought with some amazement and satisfaction.

Then I crushed my partner’s shoe and nearly fell. The master’s partner stepped in, to take me in hand, while the poor girl nursed her foot. I went red in face, it was embarrassing. I felt everyone in the room looked at me and saw my humiliation. As soon as the dance finished I excused myself and run away to hide in the men’s bathroom. I found several other young men smoking and nervously joking about similar experiences. We all had made our faux pass, either during a promenade, or during dance. I was not alone in being embarrassed.

Before we had a chance to relax and plan our escape from the Municipal house the dance master’s assistants barged into a bathroom and gave us, dance deserters, a lesson in proper social manners.

“Dance lessons include your education in correct etiquette. No gentleman would run away from a ballroom like you cowards. Now, you will go back, apologise to the young ladies and behave yourselves like adults,” Assistants scolded us. In response we looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and meekly went back to the ballroom, expecting more humiliation.

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