As a middle aged couple going through typical life in North America, we found that life becomes predictable, routine and a tad boring at times. Though life offers us so many interesting pursuits, we generally tend to stick to the familiar and rarely deviate from our routine and track.
I have always admired those who had taken a sabbatical and gone off back packing or for a world tour. I have heard of people who took off with their family on a R.V to explore the country. I never had the courage to take on such pursuits while still in the process of building the financial foundation of our future.
Then I saw Richard Gere’s “Shall we dance”. I thought that it was well within my means to get into dancing. My wife had been asking me for many years but I had felt very self conscious and did not give in. So she was quite happy to hear that I was willing to take dancing lessons.
We joined one of the best dance studios. We would meet there after work. The first day was hard on my nerves because the dance floor and all the students sitting in the periphery made me nervous and highly self conscious. Fortunately, there were four instructors delivering lessons simultaneously. So we were one of four couples learning the steps and that helped me ease a bit. My wife was so happy and eager to move that she was picking up concepts very quickly.
Learning dance etiquette was important. They coached us on what was necessary to navigate a dance event in the ball room without causing any incident. This was essential because we had dance parties and students from other academies would join us. We would each go around with a dance card to book our dance partners. These dance parties took us out of our comfort zone because we were now dancing with some one else that we did not know before.
Unfortunately for me, the man has to lead and I had a steep learning curve. The first dance we learned was the Rumba. Box steps initially and later more complex moves. Then we learned the Cha-Cha. Once we were able to dance the Cha-Cha for a complete song, I remember it was Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean. I started enjoying the sessions and my confidence improved.
The next was the Waltz followed by Tango and Argentine Tango. Our instructors were very good. We formed some friendships in the Dance class. I remember that and once we formed a group and went for dinner at a dance club and had a blast. Since then, it has been over 4 years that we have not gone dancing. Don’t know why. Guess we tend to fall back to our routine and have to consciously include variety.
Dancing was a good exercise, social activity as well as some thing that connected us at a different level. Dancing requires synchronized movement and timing. Dance partners enjoy that synchronization and timing with every song that they practice on. However, the thing with dancing is that you need to be at it on an ongoing basis or else you tend to forget what was learned.
Every once in a while we play music at home and dance for a few minutes. Most of the muscle memory is there but every now and then there is a hesitation as we start to forget the moves. We frequently resolve to restart our dance lessons.
I am thinking that next year we will start again.