Friday, October 28, 2011

Dancing fool, part 4

I had originally been saving this topic for a few more weeks. Until after the "Open House" at my dance studio, the day when I will stand in front of friends, family, and strangers (sometimes those categories bleed over into one another, I know, I know) and dance for the first time in PUBLIC! 

Yikes! Does that sound scary or what?

You would think so. Heck, I would have thought so, too, until very recently. Me, the painfully shy teenager who had to swallow OTC sedatives to make it through Speech 101 in college. The one who shook so hard in front of her first Dale Carngie class that her teeth literally chattered. The same one who never had a date in high school, at least until the BLIND date to her senior prom. Sad, but true.

But this is where age is a beautiful thing in many ways. Not all, I'll admit, but we don't want to get into the chicken skin thing again, do we? I'm talking about vivid changes that transform us, if we let them, as we let our guard down and we stop taking ourselves--and life--so seriously.

The fact that I'm even taking ballroom dance lessons is a wonder, a thing of indescribable beauty. Joy suffuses my life, color and texture added to what had become an oppressive drabness pressing me to the ground. I was becoming invisible. So dancing in front of others is another huge leap forward, a leap I am delighted to take. Missteps will happen, I'm sure, just as they have throughout my life. Yours, too, I bet.

But my dance instructor has reinforced, through dance, so many lessons I have begun to learn about life, too.

"Don't stop and just keep smiling," he says. And he's right.

We're never too old for wisdom like that. I'll catch back up with you when it's all over!

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

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