I was listening to a Kizomba CD on the way to work this week. I like the music because it’s soothing and hypnotic, and it allows the rhythms to marinate in my mind in between classes so that I can become more in tuned with the music and the dance. I did the same thing when I was learning belly dance. You would have thought I was from the Middle East as much Arabic music as I played.
I'm riding along and listening, and I begin reflecting on Monday night’s class. It was both fun and frustrating. Fun because the ladies in the class are hilarious. The camaraderie is good, so we joke and tease. On Monday everybody was a bit subdued. Maybe it had something to do with the time change. Class starts at 8:00 pm, but I think our bodies were still in the 9:00 o’clock time slot. Some of us were a bit challenged by the combination, and there were only two guys, so we kept going out of order, blaming the guys for messing up, and making faces.
We all have to dance with the instructor at some point, but I usually get to try it out a few times before it’s my turn. Not this time! One of the two guys, was Ken—the instructor. When it was my turn, I wasn’t feeling the combination. Something was off for me, and I was kicking myself because had been doing so well a couple of weeks prior. I felt like I was getting the hang of it, and Annet, the other instructor noticed, too and told me so. So, I was feeling pretty good—until Monday. I kept messing up, and nobody wants to get it wrong in front of the teacher! Ken kept reminding me not to anticipate, and he told me not to help. I never did quite get the hang of that combination, but I left there with some reflections on dancing, relationships and life.
1. Trust is not given; it’s earned. Trust your partner. That’s what I keep hearing, but on or off the dance floor, my partner needs to know that I will not follow him blindly. He doesn’t have to execute the steps perfectly, but I need to know that he won’t bail on me. No matter what we’re working on, one guy always says “We got this,” before we even start. And we may get it right, or we may not, but I know that as my partner, he’s got me.
2. it’s hard to be led by someone who doesn’t trust himself. We’re in the class learning together, but some of the guys are so intent on getting it right, that they don’t allow room for error. If you mess up, so what? We’re going to do it again. If my partner doesn’t trust himself, why should I trust him? If I have to follow, my partner has to lead.
3. Be me. Everyone else is taken. There are people in the class who dance well. I enjoy watching them dance, so I look to them for guidance and direction. I don’t want to be a carbon copy of them no matter how well they dance. I can take pointers, but I must ultimately find my own way and it will be at my pace, and that’s ok.
4. Put my cape away. Yep, that I'm independent woman likes to show up to class, too even when I try to tell her she’s staying home for the evening. I love her to life, but this is the one time I need for her to take a seat. I need to learn to follow, as Clarence, one of the instructors likes to remind follows, submit, submit, submit. Not in a 50 Shades of Grey type of way, but to allows my partner to lead me through this dance. This brings me to my final point.
5. Relax! Woo sa, woo sa. It’s a dance class. If I knew what I was doing, I wouldn’t be here. Some things will come easier than others, and when I don’t get it, there’s always the next class.
These lessons come in handy on the dance floor and in life. Until the next time, happy dancing!