Anyone that knows me well knows that I have an uncanny ability to move it and shake it. Or rather, I just love to dance it out. I sometimes move around my apartment first thing in the morning, the radio turned up. Or when I’m tired at night and need to wake up to get some stuff done–same thing. There’s something to be said about taking any internal frustrations, stresses, concerns, tiredness, worries, preoccupations, and insecurities–and throwing them to the wind by dancing it out. You get your blood flowing, and before you realize it, you’re more energized; you’re ready to take on your next step.
Okay, maybe I only speak for myself, but I’ll tell you what I tell my friends–you have to be comfortable with yourself if you’re ever going to let others be comfortable around you (or with you, in a more relational sense).
I started taking yoga classes the other month, which has been an amazing addition to my week. I get a good workout, and I also leave class feeling recharged and less burdened by any daily wear and tear. After an off-hand discussion with a friend of a friend, I decided to take a beginner hip-hop dance class at this small studio in Downtown Durham; they pretty much offer any kind of dance you can think of, and since they’re all adult recreational classes, there’s a nice mix of people.
I’ll say it: I’ve never taken a dance class. And on day one, I felt ridiculous. Awkward. Everything but cool and/or coordinated. Remember choreographed steps? Pssh, *totally* not happening…yet. I need time to process everything, get acquainted with something new. Despite all these things, I went into the experience with an open mind. I should emphasize that I have not-so-secretly always wanted to learn how to hip-hop dance, but there’s a fine line before thinking about doing things and actually doing them.
Anyway, I was open-minded about it all: if I was going to take a dance class, I was going to make the most of it. And I wanted to have a fun time, get out of my element, and learn something new! I am happy to report that that is exactly what’s happening, and even though part of me doesn’t always feel like driving out to class on a Monday night, I always leave in such a better mood. I watch myself in the studio mirror, and even though I don’t always get everything right in the class–I have a fun time. The character of the class forces you to get out of your shell; it pushes out negative talk and encourages you to just own up to your body and your moves. It helps you forget about being self-conscious or embarrassed; it builds confidence.
So my advice to you? If there’s something out there that you’ve always wanted to try or learn, don’t limit yourself. Don’t be the one barrier that keeps you from doing something new. Just have fun with it. Own up to what you do because you don’t have to get it right or be perfect. We don’t care about the details; it’s all about how you do what you do.
Own up to your lives and dance it out, my friends.