In Love with Life: Dance lessons Pt. 1

Friday, March 15, 2013

For as long as I can remember I have been a dance-aholic.  From sock hops in middle school, to homecomings, formals in college, to wedding dances, or an occasional club visit, you can pretty much guarantee that you will find me on the dance floor.  It is just one of those activities that brings joy almost instantaneously.  I understand that this isn't the case for everybody.  Some people need a little liquid courage, or just would really rather sit on the sidelines, but not me.

Thankfully, my husband, too, is quite the dancing man.  If we're at a wedding and the dance floor is struggling for people to start off the night, you can count on us to be the first ones on the floor.  We are most certainly not pro-dancers, but we just love to dance!  And no, I don't mean the bump and grind, gross kind of dancing.  I mean the jumping around to the music, shaking your stuff, a little cupid shuffle here and there- the FUN kind!! I'm not even sure where the thrill of it comes from, but I don't really care- it's great!!

I know I haven't always been as confident in the fun of dancing.. I remember in high school I was always nervous about it.  I wanted to feel free and not worry about what others thought of me, but well, it was high school so that was a bit hard.  But something changed in my college years- maybe it was the cocktail I had before we would attend a "lounge party" (as the dance parties were called in my day), but honestly I don't think that was it.  I think it all comes down to being confident in yourself, okay with looking a little funny, and just really allowing yourself to have a blast with it!

Besides the typical wedding dance fun, I have a bit of a fondness for salsa dancing.  Last year, I even went to a salsa lesson with a girlfriend of mine, you can check out more about that here.  But the thing was, I didn't necessarily want to learn salsa on my own.  Going to a club with just your girlfriends can be great, but it becomes a bit tricky when you're married.  I don't want to get hit on anymore.  I don't want to have to worry about whether or not the guy I am dancing with gets that I am simply dancing with him and there will be no advancing beyond that.  This setting can still be fun, if with you're with the right crowd- but it's still a bit tricky.  So in order to avoid this, there is a perfect solution... my husband too, must learn to dance.

Thankfully, since my husband (who I'm pretty sure may have danced MORE than I did at our wedding!!) likes to dance, it wasn't too hard to approach the topic of dance class.  And at the silent auction for the Oscar Gala, my dreams became a reality!  We bid on and won a package with Fred Astaire Dance Studios for 2 dance classes and 1 practice party.  I was stoked!! Since I have been on a mission to be more in love with life, to intentionally seek out joy, the idea to take a dance class fit right in.

Wednesday night we began the adventure.  Before our lesson, we were encouraged to dress as if we were going out on a date night.  So Chris wore nice dress pants and a collared shirt - and I followed suit wearing a purple, fun-to-spin-in, skirt with a black top.  Arriving at the dance studio, we put on our dance shoes and were ready to jump right in.  We met our instructor JR who took us into the ballroom right away.  The next 40 minutes flew by as we learned basic steps of the Rhumba, Foxtrot, Waltz, and the push-pull.  We learned how to have proper frame for each of these dances, and spent a brief amount of time on each dance, moving about throughout the studio.  Accomplishing each of these basic steps and receiving positive feedback from our instructor, he even allowed us to learn the basic step of the salsa (which is not usually part of the intro class).  Which of course brought me great joy, because that's really the dance that I have the most fun with.  As our time in the class came to a close, my husband escorted me off the dance floor with a smile on his face.  We both had a blast, and are definitely looking forward to our next lesson at the studio.

Needless to say, I am pretty excited about this new adventure, about this new way of working towards being in love with life.  I am so thankful for a husband who supports my crazy ideas and does it with a joyful heart!  [He even suggested we consider signing up for the beginner's dance program - 5 lessons, 2 practice parties, and a ballroom cd!!]  I am a lucky lucky girl.

But besides learning a few basic dance steps, I have walked away from this experience realizing how easy it is to make fun happen.  Sure, in most cases, it costs a little money... but isn't it worth it?  I'm so glad that instead of just talking about taking a dance class, we actually did it- we made it happen.  Is there something that you have been dying to try, or that you have on your bucket list?  I encourage you to take the next step to find out more, and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

I can't wait to share more with you about this dance class and the joy that I'm certain it will bring.
Until then, be intentional, go out and do something fun!! You won't regret it.


The image above is from a friend's wedding reception, captured by Lindsey Stayton Photography

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