I’ve surprised myself. If you would have asked me 10 years ago, I doubt I would’ve considered myself a dancer. But today I do– certainly not a professional dancer, but just a person who loves to dance.
I’m an unlikely dancer. I still have well over triple-digits to lose, and somewhere along the line in my 30’s and having kids, I totally lost touch with my body (hey, I think those 2 things just might be connected). But even then, whenever we’d go to a wedding dance or a place with a dance floor, there was this little urge inside me, wanting to get up and groove. But oh, fear and shame came up, and I squelched that urge.
Five or so years ago, I did start getting back in touch with my body– I felt so awful physically and emotionally I just had to do something. I started going to the YWCA regularly, doing a little at a time, lost some weight, started feeling MUCH better. After awhile, I got a trainer, who pushed me harder… and the best thing was, I got her to help me start going to exercise classes (which I’d been afraid to do before).
After a cautious beginning, I started trying out different classes, discovered Zumba– a Latin-based cardio dance workout. You shake your hips a lot! I decided early on that I was going to let go of caring how I looked– because of course there are huge mirrors all around in the class studio. I was going to go for it, just dance like it was no one’s business and have fun. And amazingly, exercise became fun!
Since then, I’ve gone on to take some hip-hop classes, different Zumba classes, got my husband to take some ballroom dance lessons with me, and found a new favorite class called Flash Mob, which is hip-hop and pop and world music, with a very fun teacher… it’s like a dance party. And my daughter and I have discovered Dance Central on our Xbox Kinect. She doesn’t like to exercise but will eagerly join me in the basement to sweat and dance.
I did take 5 years of tap, ballet and jazz as a youngster, and I taught myself to disco dance from a book back in the 70s, when “Saturday Night Fever” was popular. Maybe the urge was always inside me, dormant for many years, but I’m glad to say it’s thriving now. All I know is I’m having fun, dancing at last.