Dancing the Minuet
When I was growing up I took piano lessons from a delightful short, round and ancient Franciscan nun named Sister Adeline. She had seen Paderewski play when she was a child, she told me, and it was a great highlight of her life. When I was assigned to learn Beethoven’s Minuet in G — probably one of the songs most drilled into piano students in the 1960’s, and maybe even now, I don’t know — she taught me to dance the Minuet. I’m not sure if I had previously thought of the minuet as a very specific dance step and as I recall, I was more than slightly embarrassed to dance with a nun, no matter that no one would see. She bowed, I curtsied — and when I think back on it now, how wonderful for her to dance, how wonderful for me as a ten year old to learn those intricate movements.