The Unaware Young Lady
Two weeks have passed since I started spending time with Tennoji-san after school.
We are going to have this study session until the next proficiency test, so today is exactly the turnaround point.
“We will also start dance lessons today!”
On that day, with less than two weeks left until the final exam.
I and Tennoji-san were facing each other in the gym.
“I’m sorry you had to go to the trouble of renting the school gym.”
“It’s no trouble at all.”
I thanked Tennoji-san, who was wearing the school’s designated gym uniform.
Having finished practicing table manners, I started practicing ballroom dancing today. Shizune-san has given me some simple instructions, but I am far less knowledgeable and experienced in this area than I am in table manners. To be honest, I am not confident in this area.
“Let’s start with the Slow Waltz.”
Saying this, Tennoji-san turned on the speakers in the corner of the room.
The Waltz tune came on.
“Look, what are you just standing there for? Come quickly to my side.”
Ballroom dancing is for men and women to face each other and dance in close proximity.
I was still aware of this, and my body felt awkward.
“Even more, is it ……?”
The distance between Tennoji and me was already less than 50 cm, but I took another half step closer. Then Tennoji-san also took half a step closer. Our bodies were in close contact, and I could feel her soft touch and her sweet scent.
“Please take my right hand with your left hand. After that, shift your body by half ……”
Desperately suppressing my worries, I followed Tennoji-san’s instruction and adjusted my body position.
I put my right hand on Tennoji-san’s shoulder, and Tennoji-san put her left hand on mine.
“This is the basic posture called the hold. Then ……, you will dance slowly while maintaining this posture.”
“Yes, but I still don’t know how to dance…….”
“There is a saying, “Practice makes perfect”. I will lead the way, so please follow carefully, Nishinari-san.”
Tennoji-san quickly pulled her right foot.
As if caught in the movement, she stepped forward with her left foot. Repeating a similar exchange, they slowly moved counterclockwise around the gym.
“Here, half a turn to the right…….Nice, go ahead and do another half-turn …….”
I was conscious of not releasing the attachment of our bodies, and before I knew it, I found myself dancing as if I was being drawn to Tennoji-san’s movements.
Once the loop of the song playing in the gym ended, I stopped dancing.
“What do you think? You can dance better than you think, can’t you?”
“Yes. I think I understand the whole flow …… somehow.”
“Even though I am leading, Nishinari-san is also adapting very quickly. …… Athleticism?”
It’s true that I’m inherently better at physical exercise than I am at manners or studying.
I’m not bad at sports, and dancing is probably an area I’m suited to.
“Now let’s begin once again with the hold.”
As before, I followed Tennoji-san’s lead.
Ballroom dancing should be led by a male dancer. Tennoji-san should have had a hard time dancing, but she didn’t show any such emotion on her face and just kept pulling me along.
“……This is a lot more physical than I thought it would be.”
I said, wiping the sweat dripping from my chin with the collar of my gym clothes after an hour of dancing.
“I know …… Well, normally, it should be done with a moderate amount of relaxation in between.”
Saying so, Tennoji-san also wipes off her sweat.
“Now, let’s resume the practice. Nishinari-san, take hold.”
Tennoji-san comes closer to me as I straighten my back and spread my hands.
When I remembered what I had been taught and tried to adjust my posture for the hold – I suddenly realized.
Perhaps because she had been dancing indoors for so long with no ventilation, Tennoji-san was also sweating profusely. The white gym clothes are transparent with yellow underwear showing through.
This …… should not be looked at directly.
I pay respect to Tennoji-san who is teaching me how to dance. I maintained my stance, averting my gaze as much as I could.
“Hey, where are you looking?”
Tennoji-san pointed out that I was looking in the wrong direction.
“Please look at me properly. Dancing is not only about the way you move your body, but also about the way you look at me and the expressions on your face.”
“…… That may be true, but ……”
There are circumstances that are not easy to see. But it is also difficult to tell her that.
As I was thinking about how I could get her to understand, Tennoji-san grabbed me by the face and forced me to turn my head to the front.
“Look at me properly like this.”
In front of my eyes and nose, Tennoji-san’s face was spread out.
Just below it, there was a sweat-soaked uniform that was sticking to her skin.
“Um, …… Tennoji-san. I’m very, very sorry to say this, but ……”
I couldn’t just continue to watch.
With that in mind, I decided to come clean with my commitment.
“Those ………… clothes are transparent from sweat………….”
Tennoji-san covered her chest with both hands, as if she finally understood the situation.
“Wh-wh-where are you looking!?”
I told you about it.