I have always thought that if I had a chance to be naturally gifted at one athletic niche, it would be dancing.
Not only do I not possess one ounce of natural rhythm, but dancing makes me so incredibly uncomfortable, that I do my best to avoid it at all costs. I have always loved watching other people dance, though. Whether it’s a professional who’s strength and grace is able to convey such beautiful emotion and precision or someone who is a complete novice, but is still able to let go of all inhibitions and have so much fun that it’s impossible not to see it on their face, I just love it. Sometimes, when I challenge my insecurities and make my way out on the floor, halfway through a song, I catch myself awkwardly in a trance of one repeating dance move because I am too preoccupied with watching someone else. It is always uncomfortable when they catch me staring.
I have been thinking this over more and more lately after Dancing and I had a run-in a few weeks ago at a fancy shmancy Christmas party I got to attend with my family; After avoiding the dance floor all night, My Grandpa, an amazing dancer, all dressed up in his tux, asked me to dance with him and I, of course, said yes. As we made our way from our table, I noticed that there were literally no other couples dancing at the moment. Panic set in. Trying to avoid my biggest fear of all eyes being on me while simultaneously doing something I felt absolutely zero confidence in, I suggested that we wait until a few more people started dancing too. But, completely seeing right through my empty strategy, he stated that this was actually better, in fact, because with no one on the dance floor, “We would have more room to really show our stuff.” He strongly grabbed my hand and, all thanks to him, we glided effortlessly around and round. Halfway through the song, after fumbling a bit, I justified my shakiness by telling him that I was sorry for all the teetering and that I blame two left feet for the missteps. In seconds, without even a reply to my statement and completely ignoring any of my shallow self doubt, he seamlessly guided me into an effortless twirl so graceful and light, that all of the eyes that had been the center of my thoughts and concerns disappeared and, for a moment, I was Ginger Rogers to his Fred Estaire. I felt a cool mix of brave and in control with femininity and charm. And just as quickly as he spun me out, I was back in the safety of his arms. With such confidence and poise that can only be earned by a man with stripes of a true Gentlemen, he looked down at me and he whispered in my ear,”You’re doing great, kid.” For the rest of the song, I was on air.
I seem to have quite the collection of dance inspired videos saved on my computer and I have about 10 more (believe it or not) but here are my faves. I promise you that they are worth it.
P.S. Remember this sweet ballerina?