My partner (hubby) and I began taking dance lessons this past summer, over nine months ago. (It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already!) We started from scratch, learning the basic foundation of a few dances to see which styles would interest us enough to continue. After the intro program, we chose dances to focus on and moved onto the social bronze track around Thanksgiving. Social bronze lessons are designed to give students basic knowledge of a few dances. We chose to get our feet wet in rumba, foxtrot, swing, and waltz, eventually adding salsa, cha-cha, and hustle too.
We’re having a blast, especially the past few months as we’ve grown comfortable with attending more group classes and socials. The extra practice and experience strengthens our technique and retention of steps in different styles of dance. It’s become a big part of our lives: You’ll find us at the studio usually three nights a week, sometimes more. It still amazes me how much we’ve both taken to it. Learning ballroom dance, particularly with my chosen teammate, has truly been an awesome, life-changing experience. Each of us is growing on a personal level, both mentally (focus, patience, challenge of a new experience), and physically (improving posture, balance, flexibility)…and as a couple, a.k.a. Team Gipe.
Opie (hubby’s nickname) was reluctant to take lessons in past years when it was mentioned, and I didn’t push the issue…until a coupon arrived in the mail last summer, a few weeks before my birthday. Not wanting to collect more stuff, I relayed my one and only birthday wish (insert dramatic violins here) was to try dance lessons with him. [Side note: Ever since I watched the movie Swingers as a high school senior, I wanted to learn the “twirly-whirly” and be part of that culture. Over 15 years later, the dream became a reality.] With the special deal as extra incentive, he said YES! – and so began our introduction into the ballroom dance world.
The professionals/instructors couldn’t be friendlier or more willing to assist as we step and turn along this dance journey. Their teaching style and enthusiasm shows genuine care for their student’s progress and well-being, which makes for a pleasant experience. Personally, I haven’t had this much fun learning something new in quite a long time. Plus there are so many perks I didn’t anticipate: Dancing has the ability to draw me out of a funk by boosting my mood and increasing my energy level; it is teaching hubby and I how to practice patience, cooperation, and understanding; and, most of all, this experience has opened us up to trying new things and realizing that you can teach
an old a young adult dog new tricks. We’ve made some great friends and glided through exciting challenges that we wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
If there is something you’ve wanted to do/make/try/experience for a while but fear/uncertainty/doubt held you back, I challenge you to stop thinking about it and take the leap. Living dangerously is putting off something you desire. What if by the act of trying, something great happens? [Fabulous!] What if the outcome is not so wonderful? [Then we can stop that thing, learn from it, and try a different way. There will be no regrets or what-if’s because we’ll gain knowledge from the experience of trying.] Isn’t something that could enrich your life worth doing now? The “right time” may never come…why not put a plan in motion to achieve the dream.
Can you write a few doable goals to help realize your wish? What is something you attempted after some hesitation? Was the outcome positive or negative? Either way, what kind of strength was gained from the experience? I’d love to hear your story.