I want to put on my Boogie Shoes

I want to put on my boogie shoes

Dancing Machine

So a few weeks ago, I told you about how I found my spark again. I’m literally shaking things up by taking dance lessons.

First I got the free 30 minute “let’s see if you have any rhythm and what kind of student you’ll be” session. It was mostly for people who were undecided about whether they wanted to take the classes or not. They take you out on the dance floor, spin you around for 30 minutes and then hand you the paperwork to sign up.

But I was already sold the first time I walked in the door. I considered my first free session a bonus of things to come. I got a quick overview of the Swing, the Foxtrot, the Mamba and we even did a bit of the Hustle. {Saturday Night Fever, here I come!}

I let my dance teacher Frankie lead me around the dance floor. I stepped on his feet and he laughed. He told me he was impressed with my ability to pick up the steps quickly and I told him that I use to be on drill team in high school. And then he laughed again.

I guess being on the high school drill team isn’t as impressive when you’re in your 40’s.

1-2-3 1-2-3 … Look I’m dancing!

frankie the dance coach

 

First things first, everyone meet my dance coach, Frankie. And Frankie – this is everyone.

We had our first official lesson last week. It was time to get serious as we just concentrated on just two different types of dances – the Rumba and the Mamba. We were still laughing but Frankie was more on task that day.

I could tell we weren’t there to play and just move around the dance floor like the first session. He had a goal and if it took everything in his powers that day, he was going to teach me how to dance.

 

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve learned something new like this. And not something like a new computer program or a cool new app. This was so far out of my comfort zone that I started to get emotional over something as simple as a dance step.

Other than the Rumba and the Mamba, this is what I learned that day:

1. Stop trying to lead

Apparently, I kept trying to lead. Which was funny because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.

Several times during our lesson, Frankie would stop me and make us start all over again. Finally, he looked at me and said, “You need to learn to let go. You’re trying to control everything. Just let go and let me lead you.”

I always knew I had a bit of the control thing going on. But when someone tells you that to your face, well, it really makes you think about what you’re doing. I took a deep breath and let go.

2. My posture is off

I realize that because of my work, I spend way too much time hunched over a laptop for too many hours during the day. I can tell from all the pain in my shoulders that I experience on regular basis.

Apparently my bad posture affects my dancing technique – or what little technique I’m trying to learn.

Frankie put his hand on my back, showed me where to put mine and told me to stand up straight. In his firm teaching tone, he said, “Straighten up, what are you hiding from? You have your own business, you’re making it as a single mom. Stand up and be proud of what you’ve done.”

3. Head up, look at me

Frankie would only allow me to watch his feet for a few minutes to learn each step and then he would say, “head up, look at me.”

That was a hard one to do. I wanted to watch his feet. I wanted to show him how quickly I could learn this stuff. And in some weird way, it was uncomfortable for me to look him in the eye while we danced. My old behaviors wanted to look down, away from him or at the other people taking lessons.

Once again, he stopped me on the dance floor and gave me more words of wisdom, “Stop looking down at what you’re doing. Look up and see where you’re going.”

4. What are you doing?

This last lesson caught me totally off guard. He was teaching me the Mamba and I just couldn’t get the step step turn. I was frustrated. By this point, I was sweating from all the exercise so I was hot and tired and I couldn’t get this freaking step.

Half joking but maybe not, I said, “I can’t get this. Can’t we just go back to the other one? I got that one. We can practice that dance some more.”

Sensing my frustration, once again Frankie stops me on the dance floor (we did a lot of stopping and standing on the dance floor that day). He straightens up even more than he usually stands and says, “No, we are going to keep going. We are not going to quit. Do you quit when things don’t right in your life or you can’t figure something out?”

I shook my head like a small child. And then he added, “Get out of your head and keep trying. You’ll get it.”

And I did.

And it was the most fun I’ve had a long long time.

 

 

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17 thoughts on “I want to put on my Boogie Shoes

  1. Good for you!  It’s good to do something for yourself, so keep up the good work.  I’m proud of you!

    • The Hustle thing was pretty fun, I totally wasn’t expecting that one. I’m more interested in the dances from the big band era. I can’t wait to learn those.

    • Ha – you’re funny! I honestly didn’t think my lesson was going to turn into this. I’m guessing that since he does this for a living, he kmows what to say and how to get you to think about what you’re doing and why you’re here. So yeah, it was a bit uncomfortable but it was so much fun!

  2. It sounds like fun, of course you wouldn’t find me out there because it would be dangerous for all around me. Grace and I are are best kept at arms length. ;)

    • Ha ha, good one. Yeah, I think we all have our own things that we do or want to learn how to do. And right now, I’m not very good but mostly, I’m just glad that I’m pushing through it.

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