DEAR HARRIETTE: I was invited to go to a holiday dance with a guy I really like from my college. I want to go, but I feel like an idiot because I never learned how to dance. My parents were very strict, and they never allowed us to listen to secular music. Dancing was out of the question. I am not as strict as they are, but now I am clueless when it comes to dancing.
I like this guy. He seems very reserved, kind of like how I grew up. He definitely is respectful. I don't want to run him off when he realizes I am so backward. Should I tell him I don't know how to dance? I don't know how to fake it, and I don't know anybody to ask to teach me, either. -- Two Left Feet, Syracuse, New York
DEAR TWO LEFT FEET: It is good that you are drumming up the courage to go to the dance with this young man. Trust that you will not be the only one who doesn't know how to dance! Still, that doesn't mean that you should go without some preparation.
Look online for dancing instruction. You can find tutorials that will help you to learn how to move your body with simple steps. If you think your date could be game, you could tell him that you are excited to go to the dance but that you would love to do some practicing. It would be easier for you to talk to this young man about your background and your need to learn the basics of dancing before you are standing in front of each other on the dance floor at the event. Tell him you have something you want to discuss with him. Then go for it. Ask him to give you a lesson or two. If he says he doesn't know how to dance either, that's all the better. Ask him if you two can muddle through it a time or two before the dance. This may strengthen your friendship. It certainly should help you to feel more at ease on the big night.