For several years, dance was my life. And then I lost it. I lost part of myself. I lost the thing that I looked forward to the most. Which is why the top of my list was:
Freshman year of college, on a whim, I went to Swing Dance Club with someone on my floor. And I was hooked. East Coast Swing came easy for me. It wasn’t long before I was learning aerials. I loved it all. For 3 years, I looked forward to Wednesday nights. I looked forward to trips to the cities to go dancing. When I graduated college, I was President of the club. And it was sad to leave it. I have such great memories from those days. I made some of my greatest friendships in that club.
I had high hopes that I would keep dancing.
But then I didn’t.
When I was living back home, I think I drove up to the cities once. But it seemed like a long drive at night. And I was working 4pm-midnight. So it just wasn’t doable most of the time. (See, I’m over here still defending it to myself). Then I moved to Council Bluffs. Omaha has a great dance scene. But I wasn’t brave enough to go check it out on my own. I don’t know what it was- but the idea of going alone just wasn’t comforting to me. So I didn’t go. Then I moved again, and now I’m back to driving almost 1.5 hours to dance.
It’s strange losing a part of yourself, and knowing that you are consciously doing it, but not changing it. And just letting it fade away.
Josh knows I used to dance and really enjoyed it. He even let me try to teach him. But I couldn’t teach him. Which was so weird. I have taught so many people how to swing dance, but when it came to my own boyfriend, I couldn’t do it. I always imagined myself with someone who was a dancer. But in life, you don’t always draw the cards you think you want. Once we got engaged, I told Josh we were going to take a dance lesson. And he, surprisingly, said that was fine.
So we went to our lesson at Omaha Ballroom. We had a lesson with the owner, Elizabeth. And she did a East Coast Swing dance lesson. It was different for me to see East Coast from more of student side, because I feel like I’ve known it for so long. And I still remembered it. It’s like riding a bike- once you know it, you know it, and can do it without thinking about it. Josh did pretty good. She also taught us the Rumba basic step, and Josh and I both agreed that he did better at that.:)
As Josh and I were getting ready to leave, I told Elizabeth that I used to dance and I wanted to get back into it. She told me that she would put me with James, another dance instructor (and Elizabeth’s fiance at the time- husband now :D). I reached out to James on Facebook and we set a lesson.
I told Josh that I would love to do another lesson with him, but my lessons with James are something that I have to do for myself. Because since moving to Nebraska, I feel like I’m just wandering around. I need something that’s all for me- because I need a little self care in my life. At my first lesson, we were getting through a lot of material and moves (we started with West Coast Swing- since swing is what I know, but this style is different). At one point, James stopped and said something along the lines of “I need to tell you- you are a good follow. I’m throwing things at you, and you’re just following me. I can tell you have dance experience.” That’s what I needed. I needed to know that I still had it in me.
I believe it was on my third lesson, James asked me if I had been thinking about competing. Which is something I had thought about, not seriously and not with any high hopes, but I had thought about it. So now we are talking about competitions. I will be waiting to do competitions until after Josh and I get married, because there is only so many things I can smash into my life at a time. And as I’m in the final push of wedding planning, I realize my choice to wait to do competitions was a good one. But I’m glad that dance competitions will soon be a part of my story.
My current story consists of tulle and purple ribbon, handheld apple pies,
a poster board size seating chart, bridal showers and weddings,
burlap and lace, and a bread machine.