To Dance

I’ve been catching myself in the car moving through salsa steps I learned many months ago. Picture a gymnast or a figure skater, about to step up for a huge competition, and how she’s often on the sidelines basically stepping through her routine. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing.

I don’t have a routine.

And yet I keep moving.

One thing that has always surprised me about myself is how much I enjoy dance. But I enjoy a very specific type of dance. The type that gets choreographed for me and I just have to do it.

I do not enjoy going out dancing.

I’m too in my head then. Too worried about whether the dance I chose to dance looks weird or acceptable. I think it happened when someone pointed out to me that I plant my feet when I dance. Now I’m always focused on moving my feet. The focus isn’t fun. When I do things like dancing and drawing, I do them to get out of my head. I quit them when I’m too in my head to enjoy them.

This morning when I drove into work I was stepping through my salsa not-routine in the car. I remembered an instructor I once had.

This was the summer after college. The training rotation of the engineering leadership program I had gotten into after graduating college. It was a summer filled with fun. And though we often complained of often being treated like children, I think none of us were really ready to be full-blown adults yet. I know I wasn’t.

Part of our training included going through some of the classes that certified technicians took. This was a car company. So we learned to tear down engines and align tires. Stuff like that. Anyway, there was some reason that everyone became hyper-focused on how one instructor had met his wife.

He was a little older than us, probably early to mid thirties. He had a baby on the way. And I have a distinct memory of his carrying around a book about how to be a good father. It sent all the girls’ hearts aflutter.

When this instructor was teaching my class he promised he would tell us how he met his wife at the end of the week. I’m sure it took a lot of coaxing to get him to even agree to that, though I’m not totally sure why.

So the end of the week rolls around and it turns out he met his wife at a salsa class. He had taken the salsa class specifically to meet women and low and behold, it came true.

And I’m not sure why this story popped up in my head today. But it made me smile. And maybe that is reason enough. I’m actually signed up to take salsa lessons again. Boy and I took them when we were still boy and I. But I did love them so. So next month I will be learning to salsa anew. I’ll admit part of my reasoning was to meet more people. But mostly it was so that when I’m moving through a routine in my car on my way to work one morning, I have a routine to actually move through.




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