Never miss a chance to dance
Yesterday’s reference to dance made me think a little more about dancing and the feeling of euphoria it gives me while dancing, whether I was in a ballet concert (primary school), in a club, taking a jazz or salsa class or part of a belly dancing performance. Dance has always been part of my life and definitely a contributing factor in my love for getting to know people, connecting with people and cultures and to live life!
Somehow I have always found myself dancing somewhere at some point even if it is my inner M dancing on the inside, slightly moving on the outside in the midst of the performance of the Brahms Requiem. Never miss the chance to dance!
In all honesty, I have missed many opportunities to dance over the past few years for various reasons. Moving to a place where there are no salsa opportunities – I started ballroom instead but that didn’t last long as it clashed with other obligations. Then moving again and just not having the energy to drive to classes or salsa parties. Regret … many chances missed. I attended a few parties over the past three years, but I can probably count them on my two hands. Disappointing for someone who used to attend weekly everythings. Why, you wonder? Hmmm … why indeed. I got knocked down and had to find my way back up. In times like that my general inclination is to go dancing as it is the one thing where I can just show up, dance and leave, not this time. So my missing chances to dance makes me regret not going at this moment – lockdown, social distancing.
That will change, when we get through this period. That I can promise.
Many things in life are also like dancing. Whether you are part of a line dance, group performance, dancing class, doing a shine (solo section), a partner dance, we are almost always part of some dance. Engaging in activities, alone, with people, leading, following, … the question is how are we dancing? Are we dancing according to the method we were taught? Or have we used the rules and techniques and combined with who we know we are and have just given us over to the enjoyment of the dance? I’ve found that this is my sweet spot, right here, when I enjoy dancing / engagement the most.
This little secret took me a long time to learn and it was definitely my own fault. I never wanted to ask people to dance with me, but if you don’t you will almost never dance!
But first, the method … to want to do what you see on the dance floor you first have to learn. Classes. I loved every minute of my salsa classes, mostly. What it reminded me of was how extremely important the fundamentals are. I would take a beginners’ class any day of any week. For me it’s important to be reminded of the basics, but also to see enthusiastis beginners learning a new skill. People who have decided and committed to challenge themselves to learn, many of the times, something completely outside of their ‘normal’ skill set. You see the candle of excitement burn and you see confidence growing. I can’t help but smile right through those experiences, including my own.
And then, after the classes, practice a little at home and attend socials and dance. Ask anybody to dance, no matter who they are or what level they’re on … dance! This will help build confidence and develop and grow your new skill. Try out new steps you see other people do and find your groove in the midst of it all. Find what you love and what you don’t like as much, but don’t stop. You’ll find yourself in there … copy stylles and moves until you find your combination of you in there.
Again, this doesn’t only apply to dancing. Many times I have given up on things because I forget or discard what I have learnt through dancing. I stop because it becomes too hard or too time consuming. I’ve given up on many tries and it’s been quite disappointing. It leaves me with a sense of emptiness because it is something I could have …
So where to start and what to start with? Because I am definitely picking up my dancing again. And another thing or two.
Let us not forget that we are here to live life and not just to exist. And lockdowns and extreme social distancing may feel like it places some of us in the existence only category, it could that we just need to shift our point of view a little? A slower dance, time to practice our shines, freestyle, finding the groove …
Explore, move, stretch … it builds your capacity in ways you don’t know.
Engage in reading, in conversation, in cleaning … reflect, build new habits, appreciate and encourage.
Whatever you do … don’t miss the chance to dance!