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?

My first waltz class

people-2595846_1920Yesterday, I made the last minute decision to attend a beginner waltz class. By myself. My dance partner has been sick, but since I’ve been missing dance and will be away for a while, I decided to go for it. I reserved my spot and paid for the class after work, a few hours before the class began. Then immediately started second-guessing myself. What was I thinking? While the studio welcomes both single dancers and couples, I was pretty sure I’d be the odd one out. I even sat in my car for about 10 minutes in the parking lot, psyching myself up enough to go in. I kept reminding myself that I was flying to Asia in less than a week. Yet dance class seemed more intimidating at that moment.

I still ended up walking in about 15 minutes early (as I hate being late). A salsa class was in session when I arrived, so I wandered around the reception area for a few minutes. It was an inviting environment, filled with warm and rich red and brown tones, which set me more at ease. A few minutes later, the owner of the studio introduced himself and gave me a short tour. I then got to check in and said hello to a few who had arrived.

It was then time to walk into the studio. We met our instructor, then had to introduce ourselves (really, why is this still a thing?). After the introductions, the lesson began. As expected, I was the only person without a partner. However, this meant I got to dance with the instructor the entire time, which was one of the best things to happen. Getting personalized instruction from a professional was fantastic. He critiqued everything: my form, my steps, and my frame and it made a huge difference in my movements. It also didn’t hurt that he was taller than I, very handsome, and had a pleasant accent I couldn’t quite place.

The only stressful moments came when I had to demonstrate new movements with the instructor. Things my body had never done before in my life. But as long as I focused on his movements, I was able to follow decently well.

I still have a long way to go, and a lot of dances I still want to learn, but waltz is definitely a new favourite. It was so much fun and I left with a smile on my face. I can’t wait for next time!

How have you broken out of your comfort zone?