More dancing? Yes please.

pretty-woman-in-field-820477_1920When I first started looking into dance lessons I had two objectives. Learn waltz and foxtrot. That was it. I wasn’t interested in other ballroom styles and latin dance seemed intimidating. Unfortunately, you can’t always find classes for two specific dances and nothing else.

So I signed up for a rotating drop-in class instead. They taught waltz and foxtrot once a month. But tango, rumba, and cha cha classes were also mixed in. As a result, I was “forced” to try other dances. Learning a completely new dance from scratch is a challenge. Sometimes even the way you walk is different. But as I progressed I started feeling more comfortable. Waltz and foxtrot are still my top two. But I’m currently in love with tango and cha cha is a new favorite. Each dance has it’s own personality. It’s exciting to discover all the differences to each style.

I often hold myself back from trying new things. Sometimes it’s because I’m scared or unsure. Sometimes I don’t feel like it or don’t have the energy. But I’ll never grow if I don’t push outside my comfort zone. Embracing new things in dance has lead to increased confidence in other areas of life too. As an introvert, I still need to ensure I have the necessary energy. But if I’m organized that’s not an issue. I just need to schedule quiet time both before and after to recharge.

Last week my dance instructor threw out a few suggestions for upcoming dance classes. Instead of instantly writing them off, I sat down and thought about it. After a few days of deliberation, I signed up for a samba class that begins this week. It’s completely out of my comfort zone but I’m still looking forward to it. Who knows, I might gain a new favorite dance in the process.

What’s something new that you’ve tried?

Height & confidence

dance-2954461_1920I’ve felt uncomfortable with my height for much of my life. In elementary school I was slightly taller than my classmates. By junior high and high school I hit a growth spurt and was taller than all the girls and most of the guys. As a quiet, introverted teenager, the last thing I wanted to do was stick out. I spent a lot of time slouching and hunched over because I wanted to blend in. But as time continued, and I entered my early twenties, I found close friends who loved my height and would tell me so. They were encouraging and never said things that made me feel awkward about being tall.

Being tall definitely comes with its challenges. To this day, I’m still approached by strangers asking how tall I am. I’ll usually reply with “it’s a secret”. I’ve heard “how’s the weather up there” more times than I can remember. I’ve been asked if I play basketball countless times. I have to bend over while showering because the shower head is usually at shoulder level. My legs are too long to take a comfortable bath. I smack my head on a lot of things. Shorts, dresses, and skirts are too short. And the list goes on.

But being tall also comes with many advantages. I love how long my legs are and I’ll wear heels if I want to feel classy (just not all the time because I like being comfortable). I can reach everything in the grocery store, including the stuff on the top shelves. I can see over most crowds. People can’t look down on you if you tower over them. People also take me more seriously since I command attention with my height. I’m still a bit self-conscious even now. But I’m working to improve my posture and stop slouching.

Last night I attended a Cha Cha class. Towards the end of the evening I was dancing with the instructor (who is also wonderfully tall) and he made a remark I appreciated. I usually hunch over when I dance, so he told me I needed to open up my chest more and stand up taller. He said that being tall, I’ve usually looked down on people (physically) because of my height. But he said that isn’t my problem and I don’t need to feel ashamed of how tall I am. It was a good reminder to be confident. I don’t need to let the insecurities of the past colour my life now.

Have you had similar experiences?