If you were anything like me at the tender age of thirteen (aside from precocious and prone to tears), you recognize that the title of this post refers to a song written by pop-punk's greatest frontman, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.
You also recognize that my pun was not subtle. At all.
I've been dancing a lot.
Some background regarding my experiences with dance include:
- embarrassing ballet classes when I was young enough to beg for a leotard with neon hearts
- deep-seated envy of Golden Era protagonists who could sing, act and dance
- obsession with Channing Tatum - I mean, with Step Up 1, 2, and 3
- and last, but certainly not least, the enthusiastic reenactments of Beyonce music videos for hours on end
I must confide, while I am peternaturally attractive and nearing the pinnacle of grace with each passing moment, I am not graceful. By any means.
Despite this huge obstacle (not as huge as being put in an orphanage while my star-crossed parents look for me, a natural musician, whose talents are siphoned to an older homeless man bearing much resemblance to Robin Williams - but we can't all be August Rush), I have found the Ballroom and Swing Dancing club to be a beautiful biweekly event.
Fret not, my clumsy brethren (and sistren? is that a thing?), as a fellow toe-stubber I can tell you there is nothing to fear here. Monday evenings consist of a studio full of sock-footed youths trying to master the balance of grace and geometry that is a Waltz, and truthfully, none of us are exceptionally good at it.
Yes, there are a few partners that tread on toes more than others, but we're all too old to be prodigies. Let's just settle for "pretty okay".
Even straying to "pretty awful" territory is something to be proud of.
But Zora, you ask, why would I want to learn an out-of-vogue form of dance and make a fool of myself simultaneously?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Simply, I need lessons in humility. We all do.
As a person who becomes frustrated the second I realize I'm not "a natural" at something, there's nothing better for my pride than to stand with other follows (a more inclusive term than "ladies") and learn steps that will eventually lead us to the slightly damp palms of freckle-faced leads (not "guys", or "boys", or "cuties").
We forget how to laugh at ourselves, and nothing will cure you of that faster than jumbling an Outside-to-Inside turn for the thousandth time. We don't quite remember how to navigate the whole introduction thing until instructors count down from ten and you learn that your partner lives in your building, and you haven't met before because they study every waking moment.
We forget that being proud of our activities accomplished doesn't have to wait until there are trophies/medallions/medals on our desks.
We forget that embarrassment isn't fatal.
That grace is overrated.
So, long story short, I've been dancing a lot.
I never said I've been dancing well.