Obligatory Fun

Confession: I only went to two weeks of the five week dance class.

I knew going into it that I would be challenged.  That my overwhelming need to lead allthefuckingtime would take a beating. That I would have to try and try again to let go of control. And I did. I swear to the baby Jesus I did! But a few things stood in my way of me thoroughly enjoying the class.

1) The teachers sped through the steps without giving us enough practice time to really get the moves ingrained in our bodies. While they were both perfectly nice and friendly and knowledgeable, the quick pace and the cramming-too-much-info into a one hour session just did not work for me. Right when my brain would start to get the steps, they’d throw in a more complicated move. Plus, they had us change partners A LOT which isn’t altogether a bad thing except that you’d just be getting the grove with one guy and WHAM! you’d have another.

2) Work overwhelmed me. I honestly had every intention of pushing through to the very end despite my misgivings but then a work deadline made attending class last week impossible. After that miss, my brain started to talk myself out of attending further. I already felt behind because I was struggling to be a “follower”.  (I make a very bad rag doll apparently. Massage therapists have told me this when they gently tell me to “relax” and I am like BUT THIS IS ME RELAXED!) I’ve been so busy that the thought of just going home one night without a mountain of things to do was/is very appealing.

3) This type of dance maybe isn’t for me. While I enjoy watching Lindy Hop dancers, the moves require a lot of knee bending. It’s old news but I have really, really bad knees. I could get through the class but the next day they’d be hurting. I really love swing dancing but maybe I should stick with East or West Coast?

Now the positives:

1) I signed up for class- GO ME!

2) I danced with all sorts of strangers and hardly felt self-conscious.

3) I decided not to pursue something just because I was supposed to or because I spent money. What’s the point of “Operation Happy” if I am not happy? Um, yeah. THAT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE.

4) I have not given up on dancing. In fact, I want to take another dance class.

I do feel a little guilty. I’ll admit it. It’s hard for me to not complete things even when I know they are not making me happy. (Hi Catholicism! Hi child of an alcoholic! Hi people pleaser!) I’m trying to look at this as not a strike against me but an opportunity to fit something new into my schedule that really DOES make me feel happy.


23 thoughts on “Obligatory Fun

  1. You left out another Positive: You were dancing with a whole bunch of guys & occasionally getting in the groove with them!:) Don’t sweat the non-completion part. You will when you are ready. As for the Over-working part: Unless you plan to have a Good time, take Breaks (& give your self one as well) Life is unremitting drudgery! Know where your limit(s) are & be sure to heed your body & Brain when they are screaming at you to take a Damn break!

  2. That damn Catholic guilt. Gets me most of the time too. For like 5.2 seconds. But yes, you should only do stuff that makes YOU happy! And no need to be hitting fast forward on the dance lessons. What’s up with those teachers?

  3. “Hi Catholicism!” made me laugh out loud.

    Just so you know, I’m sure there’s a Sister Mary Somebody spinning in her grave right now.

  4. I don’t think there’s anything to feel guilty about it! You did it, you tried it, you made a real effort, you learned something from it, and ultimately you figured out that the class didn’t work for you. But another class will, eventually. So it’s fine!

  5. You’re in good company. I have never completed a dance class, either. Of course, I never started one to begin with, but there’s no need to quibble about that. We’re practically twins.

  6. You gave it a go, figured it out it wasn’t for you, and learned from it! What more could you ask for? You learned from it. Good on you. Onto whatever is next!

  7. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with turning a less than great situation into a future opportunity. Just keep up Operation Happy no matter what it morphs into!

  8. I took a Lindy Hop class once. The changing partners drove me CRAZY! 😉

    I think it’s fine that you quit… even though I feel you about the “not-completing-something” part.I am the same way, I always think I HAVE to finish what I started… but you know what? We don’t. Many people don’t. 😉

  9. Just in case it may spark an interest, taking up belly dancing is THE BEST thing I’ve ever done for my body and my physical confidence. It’s strong, feminine, (oh JEEBUS, I hate this word, but here I go) empowering, there are lots of body types, lots of “styles,” and it’s an AMAZING, full-body work out. Just a thought…

  10. You know, I love dancing, and I used to pick things up fairly quickly. However, I’ve hated every lindy hop/swing dance class I’ve ever taken for the reasons that you’ve stated. Just when you’re getting a step, you have to learn another one WITH a new partner! I feel like yelling “let’s just focus on this kick-ball-change (OK, wrong dance, but I can’t remember any terms) for the rest of the class, shall we?” I’ve also taken a partner to the class in hopes of just sticking with him, then felt like a total biiii-aaatch for saying that I don’t want to change partners.

    Oh – and I have total trouble letting someone else lead, UNLESS they are confident and a good leader. If they aren’t, they get their asses led.

    Good for you for not feeling obligated to finish the class if you didn’t want to. Doing something solely out of obligation is not fun and totally different than not doing anything at all. Yay!

  11. Hello! My hubby was raised catholic so I know he’ll relate to how you feel.

    As long as you know what makes you happy and that you’re doing it for the right reason then….

    GO FOR IT!

  12. Hey you tried it. Why torture yourself if you don’t love it, particularly if it hurts your knees.

    I like the belly dancing idea.

  13. The thing about the knees is what keeps me from
    any dance. I see people kicking and jumping and I just cringe. Also, I have no grace.
    I think it’s really cool that you tried it!

  14. Katie and I took a ballroom dance class and I’m with you 100% on the whole “not giving us enough time to really learn” thing. I don’t remember a damn thing from that class.

  15. You know sometimes it takes the right teacher. IF you felt frustrated then de facto it wasn’t fun. You know?

    Another and…

    You inspired me to take a class this fall. 🙂

  16. Once upon a time when i was single, I took Flamanco (sp?) dance classes so if you should ever decide to take a ride on this adventure, i lend you my castinets. it was very therapeutic stomping around on the floor with major attitude.

  17. Did I miss something? East Coast vs West Coast, are you moving???

    Also, when I get people like you on the massage table, I constantly say “Just relax and let me do the work. This is YOUR hour to relax” but some have to really work at it.

  18. …i was the worst partner!! i’m sorry 😦 …but hell! …they did speed way to fast through the steps …not enough repitition to get people comfortable …i hope you still have toes, i know i stepped on a few

  19. Dude! I’m waiting for work to get over, so I’m reading your archives. And totally stick with the Lindy! DO IT! I learned east and west coast first, then took Lindy Hop lessons and it was the most amazing thing ever when it finally started clicking. I went to a swing dance convention in Omaha last month and you would not believe the number of people I met!

    Stick with it. There’s some amazing instructors on the West Coast.

Comments are closed.