Sammy was a snail who loved to watch dancing shows on TV. He especially admired the tango, with its fast and graceful movements, its passionate music, and its elegant costumes. He dreamed of learning how to tango, but he knew it was impossible for a snail. Snails were slow, clumsy, and slimy. They had no legs, no arms, and no partners. They could only crawl on the ground and leave a trail of mucus behind them.
But Sammy was not a quitter. He decided to enroll in a tango class at the local community center. He saved up his money from selling lettuce at the farmers market and bought a ticket for the first lesson. He also bought a red scarf and a black hat to look more like a tango dancer.
He arrived at the community center early and found his way to the dance studio. He was nervous and excited. He hoped to meet some friendly people who would help him learn the tango. He also hoped to find a partner who would not mind dancing with a snail.
He entered the studio and saw a group of people warming up on the dance floor. They were all wearing fancy clothes and shoes. They looked confident and happy. Sammy felt out of place and shy. He crawled to a corner and waited for the instructor to arrive.
The instructor was a tall and handsome man named Carlos. He had dark hair, brown eyes, and a charming smile. He greeted everyone warmly and introduced himself as the tango teacher. He said he was going to teach them the basic steps and techniques of the tango, as well as some history and culture of the dance.
He asked everyone to find a partner and form a circle around him. He said he would demonstrate the moves with his assistant, Maria, who was a beautiful woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a red dress. They looked like a perfect match.
Sammy looked around and saw that everyone had paired up except him. He felt lonely and sad. He wondered if anyone would notice him or want to dance with him. He wished he had stayed home.
He was about to leave when he heard someone say, “Hey, you there! Yes, you! The snail!”
He turned around and saw Carlos pointing at him. He was surprised and scared.
“Come here,” Carlos said. “Don’t be shy. I need you for something.”
Sammy hesitated, but then decided to obey. He crawled slowly towards Carlos, feeling everyone’s eyes on him.
“Hello,” Carlos said kindly. “What’s your name?”
“Sammy,” Sammy said softly.
“Nice to meet you, Sammy,” Carlos said. “I’m Carlos, the tango teacher.”
“I know,” Sammy said.
“Do you like tango?” Carlos asked.
“Yes,” Sammy said.
“Do you want to learn how to tango?” Carlos asked.
“Yes,” Sammy said.
“Good,” Carlos said. “Because I have a special challenge for you.”
“What is it?” Sammy asked nervously.
“I want you to be my partner for today’s lesson,” Carlos said.
“What?” Sammy gasped.
“Yes,” Carlos said. “You heard me right. I want you to be my partner for today’s lesson.”
“But why?” Sammy asked.
“Because I think you have potential,” Carlos said.
“Potential?” Sammy repeated.
“Yes,” Carlos said. “Potential to be a great tango dancer.”
“But how?” Sammy asked.
“By following my lead,” Carlos said.
“But how can I follow your lead?” Sammy asked.
“By trusting me,” Carlos said.
“But how can I trust you?” Sammy asked.
“By giving me a chance,” Carlos said.
“But what if I fail?” Sammy asked.
“Then we try again,” Carlos said.
“But what if I embarrass you?” Sammy asked.
“Then we laugh it off,” Carlos said.
“But what if they laugh at us?” Sammy asked.
“Then we ignore them,” Carlos said.
“But what if they hate us?” Sammy asked.
“Then we love each other,” Carlos said.
Sammy was speechless. He looked into Carlos’s eyes and saw sincerity and warmth. He felt something stir in his shell. He felt courage and hope.
He nodded his head and said, “OK.”
Carlos smiled and picked him up gently. He placed him on his shoulder and wrapped his scarf around him. He put his hat on his head and adjusted it slightly. He winked at him and said, “You look great.”
He walked to the center of the circle with Sammy on his shoulder. He faced Maria and bowed to her politely. She bowed back and smiled at him warmly. She looked at Sammy curiously but did not say anything.
Carlos turned on the music player and selected a song. It was a classic tango tune with a catchy rhythm and a dramatic melody. He said, “Are you ready, Sammy?”
Sammy said, “Yes, Carlos.”
Carlos said, “Then let’s tango.”
He started to move his feet in sync with the music. He guided Sammy with his shoulder and his voice. He said, “Step forward, step back, step side, step close. Good. Now twist, turn, pivot, slide. Excellent. Now lift, lower, tilt, sway. Amazing. Now spin, jump, flip, fly. Incredible.”
He did all kinds of moves with Sammy on his shoulder. He made him feel like he was flying in the air. He made him feel like he was part of the dance. He made him feel like he was alive.
The other people in the studio watched them in awe and admiration. They clapped and cheered for them. They forgot their own partners and their own steps. They forgot their prejudices and their doubts. They only saw Carlos and Sammy, the snail and the tango.
They danced for several minutes until the song ended. Carlos stopped and hugged Sammy gently. He said, “You did it, Sammy. You did it.”
Sammy said, “We did it, Carlos. We did it.”
They looked at each other and smiled.