WONDERINGS OF A WALLFLOWER: LIFE’S A DANCE CLASS

Emily, Editor-in-ChiefEmily Crighton

Editor-in-Chief

I will be the first person to admit that I am not a relatively coordinated individual. I trip on flat sidewalks, run into low-hanging tree branches and fall down the stairs at the gym after leg day. I once went to sit down in a perfectly stationary chair and ended up on the ground with the chair flipped over my head. I’m absolutely the last person on earth you’d expect to find in a ballroom dancing class, yet here I am anyway…taking intro to ballroom dance with my fiancé.

Despite being undisputably one of the slowest to catch on to any dance we learn, I’m thankful I decided to get so far out of my comfort zone. It’s taught me a lot about myself, other people and, of course, ballroom dancing.

I’m a person to whom a lot of things come naturally. As a result, I used to steer clear of anything that didn’t. I’m easily embarrassed, and I absolutely despise not being good at things. I registered for this class fearing it would be my worst nightmare. It wasn’t.

The more I think about it the more I feel like life is a lot like dance class. Sometimes you lead, other times you follow. Sometimes you follow even when your partner is going the complete opposite direction you’re supposed to be going. Sometimes neither of you know where you’re going, so you just stop and stare at everyone else is doing until you figure it out.

Dancing comes naturally to some people, and others will suffer a few slips and stepped-on toes before figuring it out. Some partners won’t be compatible. You’ll find your favorite partner isn’t the one who knows all the steps, but the one willing to laugh with you while you figure it out together.

Dance class has forced me to laugh off my shortcomings. It’s forced me to admit I’m bad at something and kept me from throwing in the towel. It’s forced me to swallow my pride and ask for help. It’s shown me that most everyone is willing to help you if you ask for it. It’s showed me I’m capable of learning something I’d previously been too terrified to even attempt. I might not be the best dancer in the class, but there’s no way I’m the worst dancer in the world.

I used to feel as if I had to be the best at everything I did, and honestly I still kinda feel that way…but you can’t be the best at everything. There, I’ve admitted it. There will always be someone smarter, stronger, more talented and far more coordinated. You cannot let that stop you from trying.

In dance class there are all kinds of people. There are naturals, there are quick learners and there are people who are unwilling to jump in and try the new step we just learned for fear of messing it up. I used to be one of the latter. Now I just try to do my best, ask for help when I need it and jump in feet first until my instructor tells me I’m doing it totally wrong. I take her feedback with a laugh and a smile and do my best to get it right the next time.

What else can you do in life?

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