Dancing. There are people who dance and there are people who don’t dance. In between them is a wide chasm. Even as I type, I can imagine how someone who loves to dance can hardly believe anybody could possibly not enjoy the exhilaration. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who break into a sweat just looking at a dance floor rather than busting their moves on it!
As a tall woman with size 12 feet, dancing has always been something I’ve stayed pretty far from. I love watching people dance. I love rhythm. I love being graceful… and I guess that’s the problem. I don’t feel very graceful. My dance experience consists of two highlights: dancing to Here Kitty, Kitty in my ballet class in California as a child; and my wedding day. In my days of still trying to get it all right, I actually convinced Chris to take dance lessons with me before our wedding so we could look graceful for at least one dance. Almost 25 years later, I marvel at how patient Chris was to endure several sessions of learning how to do the waltz!
I was with my daughter recently and we were talking about college life. Annika was describing some of the great opportunities and friendships that she’s developed… and somewhere in the conversation, she said something that I wish I’d heard – and applied – 30 years ago. She smiled and said someone had told her that she was a good dancer. And then the Annika-ism came forward: “It doesn’t matter how you dance; it matters if you dance.”
She’s so right. And yes, that applies to dancing, but it also applies to so many other areas of our lives where we refuse to do something unless we’ve already mastered it. We allow pride and self-consciousness to keep us from experiencing joy.
Maybe you don’t put on a bathing suit because you don’t think you look good enough. Maybe you don’t invite people over because you’re sure everyone else has a nicer place. What healthy pleasures are you missing out on due to fear? What’s living caged inside of you that should be free in its imperfect form and all?
We aren’t promised tomorrow. We can spend all our days worrying about what others think… or we can live in a way where we make the best of what we’ve got and simply choose to dance.