Over the summer I participated in a class called the Rhythm of Life Design. I blogged about the life changing effects from the class here.
I met some amazing people at the class, and several of them were in town last weekend for a drumming workshop/concert. One of my new friends teaches African dancing, and she was going to perform before the concert. Or so I thought. It turns out that she was actually teaching a dance class, and after a few moments of indecision and sheer terror I decided to go ALL IN and overcome a fear that I've had for 20 years. Since I don't believe in coincidence, I realized I was meant to take the class, even though I would have been much more comfortable spectating instead of participating.
I have a love/hate relationship with dancing. I love to dance, but I hate for people to watch me. This stems from an insensitive comment made by a college boyfriend. We were dancing at a bar, and he leaned over and shouted something in my ear that sounded like, "You dance like a cow." Because of all the noise I was sure that I had heard him incorrectly and he couldn't really have said that, so I asked him to repeat himself. No, that was definitely what he had said to me. The boyfriend didn't last, but the crushing blow to my ego and self esteem did.
During the dance class last weekend I was still self conscious, but I also really enjoyed dancing for the first time in years. I realized that everyone in the class was more concerned about what they were doing than what I looked like. There was a concert after the class, and it didn't even bother me when people arrived early for the concert and stood along the glass windows to watch us dance.
What kept me going was some great encouragement from my friend/teacher. She said that sometimes she steps outside of her comfort zone and finds herself "going for it," even if it makes her uncomfortable. She does this to help the people that are watching her, because they might not have the courage to try something new. By overcoming her fears, she is showing others that they could do the same thing. I'm trying to remember that lesson. Not just in regards to dancing, but regarding everything else in my life that I find difficult or intimidating.