I've never really thought of myself as a dancer. And well, I haven't really danced much. Other than having African women laugh at me because I don't know how to shake my hips properly. But two of my ex-roomies (don't worry, we're still on good terms) are really into this ceilidh (Irish dancing) thing. So I went once, and was hooked. It's like square dancing, only way better and more fun. The only problem is that the ceilidhs stop during the summer months. So how to get through until September? Swing dancing.
I'm part of the UW Swing Dance club, which means I go to lessons once a week, and then there's a swing night every Monday at a local bar/restaurant. So tonight was my third time going out to the social dance, and I've had two lessons. So I've done swing a grand total of five times in my entire life. Tonight I achieved the pinnacle of my swing dancing career - I got through an entire song and only made two mistakes (yes, of course we were doing the easiest step, which is pretty much the only one I know how to do). But I was soooo excited. I totally have a crush on this guy that I danced it with - he makes me look so good! Unfortunately (for me), he's married to a lovely woman who he danced with most of the time. But he still made room for a few dances with me! I have another swing crush (meaning someone that I'm attracted to because they're so fun to dance with), but he has a girlfriend. BUT she left early. Which equaled more dancing time for me.
I've decided that it's best to dance when I've had a beer. This is not enough alcohol to make me uncoordinated or silly, but it is enough to make me loosen up. This means that I will ask people to dance and I also end up being a better follow. I tend to do this thing where I try to anticipate what the lead is going to do, which more often than not doesn't work out so well. So it's better if I'm a little relaxed so that I can just be content to do what I'm being told to do in the moment. Which is quite difficult. It's not easy to just give up control to someone else! I'm sure leading is hard too, but it's not the same exercise in trust. Although I suppose that they have to trust their follow to do what they tell them to do.
Dancing is so beautiful. I love to dance, but I also just love sitting there and watching people move so beautifully. It makes me want to cry sometimes. And sometimes the music just makes me want to keep moving, do anything but stand still.
It's funny because I've been impatient with myself for not learning swing as fast as I would like to. I think it was because the first two times I went out to a social dance night I was pretty much the only beginner, so everyone was better than me and I felt totally lost. But tonight there were more people who were just beginning, like me, and so I was able to enjoy where I'm at in the process of learning. Because you're only a beginner once. Why skip ahead? You can demand the six count Lindy Hop because that's the only thing you know, and your lead will have to comply. Well, if he's kind. Certain people who shall remain nameless would cruelly change it up on me with no warning. And then laugh. They know who they are.
Where I'm at with dancing kind of feels like where I am with life right now. We're a month into the summer term but I still feel like it's beginning. A lot of things are still up in the air, undecided, and it's not the most comfortable position to be in. I had two job interviews today, so I'm really hoping something comes through. I feel like I keep trying to arrange my life the way I want it, but things keep getting delayed or the plan changes entirely and although I keep trying, things don't really turn out the way that I foresee them turning out. Which is kind of like me trying to anticipate a lead's move and then making an awkward mess when we could have been dancing smoothly. So life is not bad at all right now, I just need to try to relax and go with the flow a little more. Because that's when it really gets good.
And honestly, working nine hours a week has its benefits. As in, I can go swing dancing every Monday night and stay up late, because there is absolutely nothing on Tuesday that I need to get up for. And I can read Anna Karenina, and cook, and watch movies, and work in the garden... the delightful list goes on. The only catch is: rent. And groceries. And money for beer (although sometimes I get lucky and find $10 in toonies in the bottom of my purse!). Okay, so yeah, that's why it's good to have one of those job things. I'm working on it. But in the meantime, I'm really enjoying dancing the night away.