Millions of Americans were captivated in 2005, when “Dancing With The Stars” premiered. I, on the other hand, was busy working long hours, honing my chops as a beginning Nurse Practitioner at a busy Family Practice in Anderson, SC. Each week my patients would say, “Did you see (fill in the blank) on Dancing With The Stars last night? They can really move”. I played along, trying to avoid giving away the fact that I was begrudgingly finishing my charts, “Yeah, it was something”.
Finally, one Wednesday night, I decided I would try watching an episode to see if it was all it was cracked up to be. That’s when I saw him…Louis Van Amstel! He was thin, long locks of blonde hair, and had the cutest accent. I was smitten. I haven’t a clue what transpired that episode, but it was certainly enough to keep me engaged. However, the next week he was eliminated. My reason for watching was gone, but I kept watching and slowly became captivated by how to folks learned how to do dances I had never heard of: Paso Doble, Jive, Quick Step.
Fast forward ten years, and my husband and I were attending my company Christmas Party and we were revelling in the music when a nurse and her husband took to the dance floor and started to dance. My friend Mary then asked me to dance (because neither one of our husbands dance). I quickly declined citing my “two left feet”. She pulled onto the dance floor anyway and I proceeded to dance my usual pelvic thrusts and vogue (it’s truly a nauseating sight). During my particularly intense vogue-ing session, Mary leaned over to me and said, “Honey, you look ridiculous. You need dancing lessons. Let’s do it. Let’s take dancing lessons! Neither one of our hubbies will dance. Let’s dance together”. It only took me a second and I said “Sure”. Now keep in mind, at this point in the party I had consumed a nice amount of wine and was agreeable to just about anything.
One week later, Mary came up to me at work and said, “Dance class begins on Thursday. You still in?” I reluctantly agreed and we began Ballroom dancing class on Thursday, January 7, 2016.
Mary and I at our first class.
My first class, I sucked!! I stumbled, I fumbled, I fell over Mary’s feet. Eventually after a lot of repetition and coaxing my the dancing instructors, I got it! Week-after-week I practiced and got better, realizing that I too could do it.
Fast forward another two years, I am coming upon my third year of ballroom dancing and a lot has changed. Mary, my friend, bailed on me leaving me partner-less; my husband, Corey, took pity upon me and made it through 4 months of dancing lessons but ultimately succumbed to his two-left feet; and I am now prepping for my first Pro-Am Ballroom Dancing competition.
The lesson of this long diatribe is, you never know what you can do until you’ve tried. Prior to taking lessons, all I could do was Vogue (and badly). Now, I can confidently say I know how to Rumba, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Foxtrot, Tango, East Coast/West Coast Swing. Also, don’t be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone. I would never have seen myself being here in a million years, but I have discovered that all it takes is a little bit of perseverance and the right kick in the butt to open an entire new world
Think about that when you make your New Year’s Resolution!!