“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.” Earl Nightingale
Ahhh I love this quote. It reminds me that anything worth doing takes time, effort and patience. Even more, there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing what it feels like to finally reach your goal.
Whether you’re tying your shoe for the first time, or learning to Country dance or Swing dance, there’s a process involved. Did either habit/skill come overnight? Hardly. Today’s youth has it easy with the internet, but not everything can be learned online, as you will soon see.
What steps would you take if you were discovering how to tie your shoe, or how to Country Two Step dance, for example? After thinking about it, I realized that what I would do to tie my shoe would be very similar to the actions I would take to learn to dance. Here’s how…
Step 1: Try it Myself
First, I have seen many people tie their shoe, and cut a rug on the dance floor. They both seem fairly easy, so I would start by giving either a shot just by mimicking what I have seen in the past. Make two loops, cross them over and pull, right? Hmmm. Why isn’t this working? What am I missing?
Meanwhile…on the dance floor…I take two steps to the left, spin myself and yes, I’ve got it! Uh oh! Disaster strikes as I fling myself into another couple Two Stepping next to us. Oh no! This is not how I saw it all playing out in my head. How does she make it look so natural? Country dancing is not as easy as it looks. Maybe not, but there’s no reason to quit. Dancing is so popular and fun, and tying my shoe is kind of important, so back to the drawing board I go.
With a positive attitude, I know there will always be another chance to dance, and another way to learn, right? Now that I figured out that going at it alone is out of the question, I can move on to my next brilliant idea. On to Step 2…
Step 2: Look Online
Of course! Why didn’t I think of this sooner? There are videos on how to do just about anything online . Surely I can find out the answer to these two easy things. Tying my shoe kind of worked, especially when I followed that little rhyme that went along with how to do it, but learning to Country Swing dance, not so much. How is it that I look like a clumsy mannequin literally made of plastic and the girl in the video looks so smooth and natural? How does she make those spins so fluid anyway? I’m doing the same steps as the people on the video, but I just don’t feel very cute, like the girls in the Country bars and on screen.
Knowing where my feet go certainly don’t make me the social dancer that I want to be, so how can I take this even further? Aha! Another idea! It’s time for a dance class! See Step 3.
Step 3: Go to a Free Country or Latin Dance Class.
What do I have to lose? I’m not paying anything to finally learn to Country dance. YeeHaw! After all, Group Dance Classes are a great way to get out, make new friends and learn to dance, right? The first two parts are true, but when it comes to learning to dance, it’s easy to get lost and confused in a group setting. You wouldn’t know this until you gave it a shot, but now that you’re in a room with 30 other people, it all becomes clear. Group Classes are not at all ideal for beginners. Everyone is at a different level in their dancing, people learn differently, and some are slower (or faster) than others, making things frustrating and overwhelming.
I don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. I don’t want the world to know that I suck and I’m the slowest one in the class, I just want to dance! Well, a “free class” is free for a reason. Dancing takes time to do well, and that comes with having detail, technique and quality instruction, none of which you can get in a group learning environment unfortunately. Just taking the step towards becoming a confident social dancer is a huge accomplishment, so I keep plugging along to finally enjoy Country dancing. We’re almost at Step 5, where you’ll discover what it truly takes to be great on any dance floor, anywhere.
Step 4: Ask a Friend/Your Spouse
Yes, we can do this one-on-one and I can get some great tips from my best friend, or better yet, my spouse. Getting desperate, are we? Let’s think this one through. First, if your buddy or lover knew already how to Country dance, you’d think this was where you’d start in the first place. Then you’re reminded of what learning from a friend/lover means. If bickering, fighting, or wanting to pull your hair out is your thing, then stop reading this blog now and stay at Step 4. . Problem solved. You’re good to go! Wait, what? You have tried this already and you know that your partner or friend don’t exactly know; A. How to do your part, or B. How to teach you how to do your part. Being a self-assured dancer comes with time and experience, but it does not mean that you can necessarily transfer those skills on to someone else.
I can only imagine how annoying it would be to watch your significant other twisting and twirling out on the dance floor with someone else. It would make me quite jealous! Why should he be out there sweeping other girls off their feet? It’s not fair! I think it’s time to seek professional help to finally be the dancer you want to be, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Step 5: Find a professional.
Who else but someone who creates dancers day in and day out would be able to teach me how to Country dance? The answer is no one. Not your spouse, not your friend, not yourself through online videos. A professional instructor, though… now you’re thinking! When you find an instructor who not just knows moves, but who can break down how to lead, follow, and perform a variety of techniques that will make you an outstanding dancer, you have struck gold! Yes, you will be paying for their time and knowledge, but investing in Private Dance Lessons is the key to dancing with confidence, without a doubt.
To begin your search, go online and look up local dance studios for adults near you. Take an Introductory Private Country Dance Lesson and see how you do. If all goes well and you find the right place, you will walk away with more knowledge in that one hour than you have gained thus far. Victory! Keep going with your lessons and you will be Country dancing in no time! How amazing is that!?
Going back to tying your shoe, I see a parent, teacher, coach or guide as someone who is best for teaching a child to keep those shoes on his feet without tripping. For adults, that coach is your personal instructor when it comes to learning to dance. He/she is the one who has the tools you need, whether it be in shoe tying or Country dancing, so seek them out and you will be moving effortlessly through life, one step at a time.