Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dance and Life Lessons 2

Our second month of dance lessons finished last week. I actually now know what that couple in the picture is doing during their Tango because that's one of the dances we learned. We practice it in rudimentary style, but it's a beginning.

We learned the Tango, the Cha Cha, and the Waltz. My favorite: the Cha Cha. Love the crossover variation with the turn at the end. So much fun!

The other dances did not come so easily to me, especially since both required more of the follower. At several points I had to simply waltz with my eyes closed so I was following the movements of the leader instead of where I thought he was going to go. Randomly mixing the box waltz step with the regular waltz will show a girl just where she's not paying attention, believe me.

As with the previous dance lessons, we realized there was a life lesson to be learned here. This is one we know but have not had to practice for some time.

Practice makes perfect.

If at first you don't succeed then try, try again.

Somehow we'd gotten it into our heads that abject failure to really grasp a dance and perform it with ease after one, two, or even three lessons meant that perhaps we were doomed. We would never pick it up. Certainly we would never do it well so perhaps we needed private lessons.

What we found, of course, is that by doggedly keeping on trying suddenly resulted in a break through. On the fourth set of lessons.

And the next month, all the new dances were just a bit easier to pick up.

I used to know that lesson. Somewhere along the way I got so comfortable with everything I was doing ... and not trying enough completely new things ... that I'd forgotten. It is something I've been applying to my life in general and it's actually a bit relaxing. Eventually. I'll get better at all those things I'm not naturally drawn to, eventually. Prayer, virtues, following in Christ's steps. Eventually.

I just have to keep trying.


On a related note, I want to point you to Jennifer Fulwiler's book, Something Other Than God. I was really, really impressed to see that Dean Koontz is included among the usual suspects in the blurbs.

I was impressed most of all, though, that Jennifer shared the discouragement she had to overcome during the drafts which took several years to reach fruition. I am acquainted with Jennifer and she's obviously intelligent, accomplished, and ambitious (which is not a bad thing, I'll just mention right here).

So it would have been easy for her to gloss over her struggles. But I'm glad she didn't. Because it is a reminder of the life lesson we picked up at dance class. No one is perfect at anything the first time and it when we pick ourselves up and try again that we get a little closer to our true potential.

I've heard only good things about the book and I bet that's because it is imbued with the honesty we have grown to expect from Jennifer in her blogging. Check it out ...


  1. I'm so glad that you are still enjoying your dance lessons and that they are getting easier for you. Even after all of my years of dancing, there are plenty of times I find it particularly helpful to close my eyes to better be able to follow (or as our coach prefers, respond). The only dance I wouldn't suggest trying it during is Viennese Waltz! That's a surefire way to end up dizzy.

  2. This is such an important -- but way too often overlooked -- lesson. Really beautiful post. Thank you!!

  3. A great reminder - thanks for the post

  4. I'm an adult violin student. My mantra is "you have to crawl before you can walk." Thanks for the reminder.