How to Get Shrinking Violets to Blossom

When I was 15 and 16, I tell Bernardo J. Carducci in his office here -- the cramped room that he calls the Shyness Research Institute -- I went every Monday night to a community dance.

The first week, I mumbled, "Can I have this dance?" to one of only two girls my age. After that the two of us knew to just walk out onto the parquet, for virtually every song.

We became so good that, as in movies, the other dancers cleared the floor, especially for our