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Scare Yourself a Little

There are ideas that no matter how hard we try to stop them, they just keep reappearing. For me, it was dancing. I wanted to learn but I was terrified to start so late. I didn't know how and the idea of starting was embarrassing. I gathered enough courage to stop caring and that is where the second chapter of my journey began.

My journey with dance begins and ends at 7. It was an audition for ballet school, one of the remnants of Soviet life that made its way into the 90s. I failed it because I had "bad rhythm". The next day I was passed the audition to music school. The idea that I was bad at dance stuck my entire life. How can you be bad at something you've never practiced? Now this way of thinking makes me laugh, but when you're vulnerable you set up traps that stop you. Stop you from feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable. I resigned to the fact that I will die not knowing how to dance. The mechanics escaped me and I forgot dance as a medium. Instead I focused on pushing myself outdoors. Biking, running, hiking peaks, skiing. I could be strong in ways that others couldn't. Dance and elegance were out of the picture for me. I embraced that brawny brutish version of myself, but inside there were whispers of a dancer. I day dreamed about myself as a dancer.

After diving into Pilates as part of recovery from sports injuries, I felt a degree of comfort with my body that made it somehow more palatable to even consider the idea of dance. This inaccessible form of movement. I wanted to demystify it. I wanted to learn it. At the ripe age of 34, I threw myself to the lions and attended a local dance studio. Of course, I was terrified! It took a lot of strength and resilience to show up and proudly answer the instructor question, that no I have never danced before. "Not even as a child?". No. "You've never danced before?". No. I attended the first class, the second, the third and I lost count of how many at this point. I discovered a love of ballet I never knew I had and every Wednesday rain or shine, I'm in class. Every week I learn something new, a technique that improves my Pilates, my biking or my posture. You really do become a ballerina when you start to practice it. And dancing? I catch myself dancing in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom to the count of 8 like nobody is watching. Learning how to dance unlocked something bigger inside me. A realization that the elegance is not just part of nature, it can be learned. Grace can be learned and practiced. I understand that we can carry ourselves however we please, because we can learn how. That mind blowing fact is going to pay dividends in the realization of future goals. If I can learn dance, I can learn anything.

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