Ok, maybe I'm not really trading in my running shoes (that title scared you all a bit, huh??)... but I did try something new this week! Sorry, I'm photo-less. Bad blogger!
I've always wanted to take dance lessons. I figured it would be ballroom dancing and with the popularity of Dancing with the Stars, these classes have taken off. One of the downfalls of these classes? The majority of them say you have to register with a partner, at least the cheap community college or park district ones always do. And I've never had someone to register with.
If you know me, I do NOT dance...EVER! I don't even like dancing at weddings. But I get harassed by the bride telling her that if her bridesmaid doesn't dance it will "ruin her wedding!" Way to lay a guilt trip on me. So I force myself to "try" to dance at a wedding and generally hate every minute of it as I have no rhythm and two left feet. Everyone always says it doesn't matter what you look like, just have fun! As much as that is probably true, feeling like I look like an idiot isn't much fun. I think my dancing insecurity stems from a traumatizing incident at an underage dance club when I was in 7th grade....
Horrible random girl: "You call THAT dancing!"
Me: (Blank stare and feeling humiliated)
Horrible random teen girl...I hate you for ruining my dancing life!
As much as ballroom dancing is hardly done at the popular parties...it's the easiest class to find and probably for me to learn (as my hips don't like to shake much).
I haphazardly mentioned one evening to boyfriend Derek after seeing a Dancing with the Stars commercial that I've always wanted to take dance lessons. That was all I said. I didn't ask him to go. I didn't beg him to fulfill a life long dancing dream of mine. I mean, most guys don't want to do such silly things with their girlfriends.
The next day...he was sending me links to fancy expensive dance classes in far away lands (Naperville). He actually wanted to sign up with me! I immediately became nervous. You mean, I might finally try to dance...on purpose?? I finally asked him about park district or college classes that might be cheaper. He found that his park district had a session of classes starting up in a couple weeks! (What were the odds?)... It was really cheap and only 6 classes. I figured why not! I've always wanted to learn and I had someone willing to go with me. He signed us up. The information said we would learn the Waltz, Fox Trot, 2-Step, Rumba, Cha Cha, Polka, and Swing. With only 6 classes, I figured it would be very basic, which was all I really wanted right now anyway!
Turned out the class was moved back one week and unfortunately that first class coincided with one of Derek's weeks to work nights. Therefore, he was going to miss the first class. I decided I would still go and if nothing else, I could sit on the sidelines and watch, or talk to the instructor, or dance alone....whatever happened. I just didn't want to miss the first class.
I arrived a few minutes early but the instructor must have been eager and he had already started class. I mentioned that I was solo for the first class but thought I would still come and the instructor said that was a good idea. Everyone was lined up and we started learning the basic box step. It seems easy but it remembering which foot to lead with, which foot to retreat with, and all that "jazz" Then they all got with their partners to practice and I practiced alone. The instructor came over and looked at me and asked if I had done this before. I said no and he looked surprised and said it looked like I have! Ok, let's not get too crazy here kind sir! It's only the first move! I have plenty of time to show you how dance challenged I really am.
That came quick when we were practicing the second move which was how to turn. I got confused with the second half of that step and asked the instructor for clarification. After all, I have to teach this to my dance partner later in the week! The instructor paired up with me to show me how to do it and I quickly caught on.
We learned more things, like how to move around the dance floor doing the Waltz moves, other types of Waltz moves, etc. The woman always moved backwards and the guy is leading her and basically making sure he doesn't run into things. Since I didn't have that and I was moving around the dance floor backwards on my own, it was inevitable that I would run into another couple! Luckily it only happened once and also luckily, I didn't run into a wall or a poll. I call that a success!
We transitioned these Waltz moves into the Fox Trot. I guess most of the dancing have the same basic steps, only different beats. 1-2-3...quick-quick-quick...or... 1-2-3 slow quick quick, etc. I felt like I was going to dream about these words!
The class was supposed to be an hour but it stretched to about 1 hour 20 minutes! There was a Salsa class afterwards and the instructor said if we wanted to stay for a free salsa class, we were able to. I decided to stay since I was already there and I like free things! We learned the first step and again the instructor asked if I had done this before. I said no...and he was shocked and said it looks like I have.
I think I missed my dance calling!
I stayed for about 20 minutes but since I had been there for 1 hr 40 minutes already, I was tired and decided to head home.
I had a great time and even though I had to go solo, I'm glad I went. I was in a great mood afterwards! I understand that the Waltz may not be the popular dance that "all the kids are doing"...but it will be fun to do something different. I may have to break out some sweet Waltz moves at my next party!