7/24/08 By Craig Wilson
Fed up with your life? Is your marriage a sham? Do you feel empty inside? Well, then, maybe you should go dancing. It worked for Janet Carlson.
Carlson, the beauty and health director at Town & Country magazine, has written a book whose story line might seem too good to be true. But let’s not be a downer here.
After competing in the world of ballroom dancing in her 20s, Carlson eventually found herself in an empty marriage, wandering through her days without much to be happy about except her two young daughters. Then her husband gave her, of all things, 20 dancing lessons for Valentine’s Day. Maybe in hope it would jump-start the marriage?
It made a difference, all right, but probably not the one he had planned. Rediscovering her self-confidence on the dance floor, Carlson soon ditches the husband, throws herself into her work and finds a fresh balance, both on and off the dance floor. Yes, metaphors galore.
“The trick of good partnership dancing in my opinion is to walk a fine line of control,” she writes. “You need to be in control of yourself, your body and your emotions, without succumbing to the temptations to try to control your partner, or to be in charge of the ‘us’ as it moves.”
The book is an honest look at how Carlson handled it all. She is to be commended for not only getting out of her marriage and moving on but also writing about it in such an open and liberating manner. There’s a certain sadness that comes through, though. A loneliness. A few regrets, even.
But Carlson refuses to sit this one out.
“Another song is starting, another dance,” she writes, “and I can’t wait.”