Monday, September 20, 2010

We're fools whether we dance or not

Suzi's feet, all ready to dance

"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."
~Japanese Proverb~

As I've mentioned, Suzi recently started dance classes. A few weeks ago my mom and I took her to the studio to look around and get fitted for shoes. I was so excited for her, but my heart ached a little because, honestly, I have always wanted to dance.

My mom signed me up when I was five for one season of little girl dance class--marching around with batons, lyrical dancing to cutesy little songs, things like that. But the most memorable part of that class for me was sliding across the floor on my butt. It was slippery. We all did it for fun.

Anyway, I probably just wasn't ready to learn, which is why I quit, but looking back I wish I had learned to do some kind of dancing. I definitely have the desire to dance, and I always have. So it made me both happy and sad to see Suzi starting dance lessons, as it reminded me of what I never got to do.

And then, on the wall of the studio lobby, I saw it: A flier announcing an adult beginner tap dance class. A big grin spread across my face. It didn't matter if I had never tapped before. I knew what my mom would say and I was right. Yes, I am pregnant. Yes, it costs money. Yes, I might make a fool of myself. But it'll be good exercise, which I need, right? And I've always wanted to learn to dance, right? I thought of Hobo Mama and how she took a risk and signed up for a ballet class. I was totally signing up. Later on my mom and I talked on the phone and she asked me what Jordan thought. He was supportive as always. Of course, I had called him on my way home and said "Guess what! I'm going to learn to tap dance!" What other choice did he have?

It was a hard sell but finally I talked my mom into signing up with me, and tonight was our second class. Our teacher has a system of breaking down the steps to make them simple to learn, and then stringing them together to make it look almost like even I know what I am doing. It wasn't half as hard as I thought it'd be, and it reminded me of learning exhibition drill routines in Junior ROTC. I like it! It was good spending time with my mom and we could both use a fun way to get exercise. We were the only two in the first class, and tonight there were a couple of others, one of whom had tapped before and was really good. It's harder tapping on the kitchen floor at home and it leaves black marks, but practicing last week really helped me keep up in class tonight! For the first time I can remember, I am getting exercise and not hating it.

Moral of my tap dance story: Don't let anyone tell you you're too ______ to do something, and especially don't tell yourself you are. I'm so glad I took a chance and signed up. I'm so glad I rejected the notion that if you haven't learned to dance by the time you're six you're a lost cause, and the notion that pregnant women shouldn't make spectacles of themselves. I hate that many women would never in a million years take a dance class, not because they don't want to dance, but because they think they aren't skinny or young or whatever enough. And I'm so proud of my mom for going with me.

This is great. All I need now is bigger shoes. And if I'm getting new shoes anyway they might as well be pretty.


~Jenny, the pregnant tap dancer~

P.S. If you are in the area, you should sign up too. It's $30 a month or $10 to drop in for a class, and it's not hard to pick things up with the system our teacher is using. You'd fit right in. Let me know if you want more info!


Anonymous said...

I think I need to learn to tap dance. Really and truly.

Happy tapping!

Rissa said...

I love it that you're doing this! It's very encouraging and I totally agree. I need to start thinking about some things I might be shying away from because I'm too (whatever). Now's the time to seize the day! =)

Lauren Wayne said...

Yea! I'm so glad you and your mom are dancing. It really is so much fun, once you get over the initial discomfort of expectations. I actually was thinking of adding a tap class, but it wasn't on a free evening. Looks like fun, though! Make sure you post your pretty shoes once you get them. :)

Theresa said...

I think all the GNOGs should do this. Me included!

kelly @kellynaturally said...

Great story! Good for you! My mother-in-law just started dancing in her 50s - and she's LOVING it. I've started & quit dance classes at various times in my childhood/adolescence, and then quit for this or that reason (too old, not good enough), and reading this inspires me!