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I never did learn how to waltz. People in my parents’ generation can execute a fairly elegant three-step, but all I ever mastered was fusing my body to another person’s and swaying somewhat to the beat.

Growing up, the waltz was something our parents did at weddings, with partners changing fairly innocuously; we managed ‘slow dancing’ in darkened rooms where there would be drama surrounding who danced with whom.

In its day, the waltz was revolutionary. Oh, the scandal of two people holding each other close, so close that only a sliver prevented them from kissing. The waltz was a hug in motion, one generation’s version of dirty dancing.

When learning to play the piano, The Blue Danube (along with the ubiquitous Fur Elise) was something we aspired to. This piece of music is so popular, it’s almost kitsch. But the full version with its constrasting tempos and soaring crescendos still does something for me. The Blue Danube may have been a previous generation’s version of pop (not when it was originally played, though) but it still does something for me.

I listen to Western classical music using this app. It has a great range of pieces covering many popular favourites. It’s one of the few (only?) app I ever paid for, and I use it every day, some pieces listened to more than others.

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