1.23.2009

1. Take a Dance Class.

I started taking dance classes when I was about 3 years old. I started in Mrs. Holmes' basement, that's where she taught her classes. I graduated to a studio and joined a competition team. When that teacher (who doesn't deserve a name drop) skipped town and took our money, we all moved to the best dance school we could find. Leah Rosch taught me some of the best ballet technique you could get in the Twin Cities (without spending your parents' life savings or having to park downtown). Everywhere I danced after that, I was always complimented on my good training. When I graduated from highschool (with boobs and curves - which are strictly prohibited in ballet), I went to college and tried my hand at modern dance. I was really good at it, and most importantly - I loved it. Michele Rusinko opened doors for me in the world of modern dance, and I learned more about technique and composition and found my talent in the realm of choreography. I loved to dance. Dancing felt like home. I made it my college major and planned on a life filled with dance.

I quit dancing, cold turkey when I was 21. I realize that after my previous paragraph, this statement is alarming. Let me take you into my world for a brief moment: Despite the fact that I was told time and again that I was indeed a "good enough" dancer, I did not have the confidence at that time in my life to believe it. I made the excuse that I could not possibly make a living doing this thing that I loved, and I walked away. Just like that. I walked away from my home.

A decade later, I am able to admit to myself that this was a mistake. That part of me has been missing for 10 years, and it's time to go home. Legitimately, I am 75 pounds heavier than I was the last time I danced (feel free to do any kind of math you want to now, I'm admitting my flaws here - and swallowing my pride), and I have certainly lost much ability and flexibility. Let's be honest here, if I'm going to wait until I'm "back to where I was," I could be waiting forever. So, let's just rip the band-aid off.

I gathered up a posse of my old dance girlfriends. Betsy has her MFA in Dance and is still teaching, Nickie is a performer at Chanhassen Dinner Theater, and Jen is in Vet School. We had drinks (sometimes a girl needs a couple chardonnays before hatching a hair-brained scheme). I floated this idea of taking class out there, and let them know that if I was going to do it. I was going to need the support of my posse. Part of this whole challenging yourself thing means requesting support and reinforcements... shamelessly. I fully expected laughter. I got none. Nothing but encouragement in the most genuine form. When you share your dreams out loud, it makes them real. So real that you can't back out - your friends are counting on you.

I researched a studio in my area that is well known and has adult beginner classes (holla to BALLAREteatro). Yes, I was prepared to try a beginner class again. It has been a decade, after all. Jen had consented to join me, having not danced in a decade herself. I also garnered the support of a dear friend, Lisa, who also had not danced in quite a while, but was an amazing dancer in her day. It was time to see if we all still "had it." We, all three, registered for class. Not just one class. Ten classes. Once a week. For ten weeks. Oh My God.

Here's my list of fears: Everyone's going to be looking at me. I'm fat, and out of shape, I've been pregnant a lot, and I'll probably pee my pants.

Here's what happened. None of that. Well, almost none of that. I did almost pee my pants once from all the jumping.

Listen, it's easy to think that everyone in the world is paying attention to you. Especially when you are so overly focused on yourself. This is important to remember, NOBODY IS LOOKING AT YOU. Also, if they are, WHO CARES? Sometimes it takes a week of sweaty palms, a racing heart, and an uneventful dance class to get to that point. So, I took a trip home. It felt good, and I can't wait to do it again. Next challenge, taking a yoga class. Remember everything I just said? I'm already starting to forget it... palms sweating... heart racing. This may be a lesson I have to learn more than once.

2 comments:

  1. The nice thing about signing up for 10 classes, is you will have plenty of times to work on getting over the palm sweating phase :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you are willing to learn to dance with the help of online dance lessons, than you can avail dance video and easy to follow dance instruction dvd. For more online dance sites you can visit : http://www.learn-dance-online.com/dance_directories.html

    ReplyDelete

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