W hen I was in third grade, Ma signed me up for simchah-dance classes.

Content with my books, I was bewildered at the idea of an extracurricular activity. Yet one day after school, she simply dropped me off at the instructor’s home.

And I discovered that I’m a dancer. I learn steps swiftly, executing them with competence and flair. I was in love. My natural state is usually sedentary, but flick on an Avraham Fried tune, and I morph from couch potato to spinning top.

The first dance I learned, composed of only a few simple moves (box step, grapevine, turn to the left), hurled me into the abandoned ladies’ section at my cousin’s bar mitzvah. A proudly surprised Ma watched as her nine-year-old led a dazed group of women in dance to the blaring of the band. She didn’t join in — she has two left feet. Why did she sign me up for dance, of all things? It must have been siyata d’Shmaya.

I eagerly attended those classes for years. Not the swiftest on the uptake, I didn’t even realize that I was the most adept. My teacher never singled me out with praise; it was only on the rare occasions she ducked out to answer an important call, and tossed over her shoulder that Lea was in charge, that I recognized my special status.

Judging by the often anemic and shuffling displays of women at simchahs, my innate calling is not ubiquitous. (We each have our gifts; I lack the family penchant for song, but was compensated with prancing coordination.)

At weddings, I strive to raise the energy level with right-kick, left-kick, jump-two-three-four, but often my efforts are shrugged off apologetically by the other females, who continue to tamely walk, not frolic, about the circle. Yet I stubbornly persist, the infectious rhythm pulsing in my bones, possessing my legs and arms. Joy seizes me throughout; mindless exhilaration obliterates all thought.

Oddly, in recent times, the bas mitzvah activity of choice is dancing. My nieces, now of age, are hosting dance parties, which I exult in — sometimes more than the birthday girl. It was with glee that I learned the next niece in line would also be having a dance party.

Yet a dating headache haunted me that day. I was in a state of limbo, suspended in the unknown. I managed to swallow my anxiety, smiling at friends and air-smooching family, wondering if the flickering angst in my eyes belied my chipper performance.

I had initially donned uncomfortably gorgeous dress shoes for the event, but when the DJ unleashed the speakers, I whipped out my sequined sneakers. I launched myself into the fray, a tall animated adult surrounded by short, non-dancer tweens, relishing in the beat that rubbed away my distress.