Villanelle: The Dance Instructor Steels Himself for the Upcoming Class

Embrace each partner though you loathe the dance.
Honor all notes whether crooned or skirled.
In the tedium of steps, seek variance.

When your students seem a conga line of ants,
picture how a nautilus shell is whorled
and embrace your partner though you loathe the dance.

Lose yourself in rhythm: seize your chance
to find routine fresh when it’s next unfurled.
Convince yourself there’s hope for variance.

Most of all, exude exuberance:
make sure each client’s amply clutched and twirled.
Embrace that partner though you loathe the dance.

Think of gazelles and not of elephants
or trampled feet, those hazards in a world
where pattern’s bruised by too much variance

in this form you feign to love—so that it enchants
those who never guess, as they’re waltzed and whirled,
you embrace your partner (though you loathe the dance)
and serve what’s expected, with paltry variance.