On the shores of Indonesia’s third largest lake, a travel writer and photographer find out that a little dancing can go a very long way with the local indigenous people.

“C’mon, try it again: One and two and three and four, one and two and three and four, right foot, left foot.” Annie, an Indonesian woman I met about an hour ago, is holding and shaking my left hand, coaxing me to line dance on a moonlit street corner.

“OK, I’m following,” I reassure her, shouting over the barrage of techno beats that fills the night. But no matter how hard I try, I just can’t move like the circle of happy people around me.

“C’mon Marco, concentrate!” Annie hisses, her tone slowly slipping into annoyance. She’s already showed me the dance steps several times. The pounding of the feet: Two times to the right and two times to the left. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. I’m confused. And I feel like an ass.