Yesterday at church I was complaining that my feet were sore. You see, I’d been dancing the night before.
A very wise friend said in response: “You’re supposed to dance with your heart and soul, not with your FEET!”
Isn’t that the truth?
Friday evening I received a text asking if I was attending a fundraising event. How does this relate to my From Fear to Love in 40 Days challenge, you ask?
You see, I’d been interested in this particular fundraiser since the year before. A live Big Band twenty-something piece orchestra would be playing. Talented vocalists would be singing: Saturday Night, The Lady is a Tramp, La Vie en Rose, Chances Are, That’s Amore, to name only a handful. All for a wonderful organization that supports local youth and the arts.
So why would I hesitate?
This is not a sit on your bottom concert. There’s dancing. Swing dancing to be precise.
And the scariest part is that I want to get up and dance. Yes, but: 1. I don’t know how to swing dance. 2. I don’t have a partner. 3. I struggle with a tendency to do nothing rather than do something not well. 4. And yes, 37 years later, I still remember when my eighth grade dance teacher told me I had no rhythm. For the record, this was my interpretive modern dance teacher. Yup, I’m that bad.
When the uncomfortable hesitation hit me on Friday night, I knew what my answer had to be: “YES! Of course I’m going.”
Fast forward to Saturday evening. My daughter and I arrived at the swing dance lesson prior to the event. In this case, it seems lesson is secret code for all of the exceptionally talented dancers (many in costume, mind you) to gather, warm up and demonstrate their talents. I was way in over my heels here.
I fumbled through the basic East Coast Step, so busy remembering where to put my feet that I was completely off-beat. I felt a bit like I had in step aerobics class years ago. A few steps behind where I was supposed to be.
This fear was confirmed when the instructor came by to remind me to bend my knees a bit, relax, and probably jump a little less. Did I mention that I’m learning to accept constructive criticism?
When I moved on to the Lindy Hop it was all I could do to repeat the steps over and over on loop out loud. Fortunately my daughter was a kind and forgiving partner!
When we walked the red carpet into the theatre I had sweaty palms and second thoughts. The make-shift dance floor was just below the stage at the bottom of an audience of almost 400 seats. Was I really going to do this in public, before people I will inevitably see again?
As the music picked up my daughter and I moved down in front and joined the dancers. We danced to almost every song, even a few of the “cheek-to-cheeks.”
It was terrifying. I danced. Not well. Probably not in time. But I danced.
And I felt wonderful.
Typically I might be that girl who watched wistfully as couples danced the night away. Who by the end of the night would be filled with wishes and perhaps a few regrets. Because I wanted with all my heart and soul to dance.
This time, I danced with my heart and soul and I left my feet behind. By the end of the night I was carried away by our giddy laughter, delightful conversation, twirling skirts and beautiful music. Zing! went the strings of my heart. I forgot about my steps, my need know what I was doing and look somewhat good, capable or competent.
By the time the evening was over my feet were sore, my heart was full and my soul was lifted.
I danced. Yes, and it was worth it.